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ARGENTINA | 29-06-2018 09:51

UK arms exports to Argentina resume after six-year freeze

The ban had been in place since 2012 amid tensions between the UK and the former Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration over the Malvinas.

A six-year ban on UK arms sales to Argentina has been lifted following negotiations between London and Buenos Aires.

The decision is part of an ongoing improvement in bilateral relations which culminated in a recent visit to Argentina by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

The ban had been in place since 2012 amid tensions between the UK and the former Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration over the sovereignty of the Malvinas/Falkand Islands, which Argentina has traditionally disputed.

At the time, Fernández de Kirchner described the islanders as “squatters” and said the UK was practicing “colonialism”.

In a statement, the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, pointed to the “improving” relationship between both countries following “the election of President [Mauricio] Macri in December 2015”.

“Following these positive developments, the Government believes it is appropriate to now lift the additional 2012 restrictions”, the statement read.

However, the modification is effectively only partial since the British government said it will not permit licences for “export and trade of goods judged to enhance Argentine military capability”.

Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie celebrated the decision.

“It is a positive gesture in this reparation of a bilateral relationship”, he told reporters following a lunch at the Rotary Club of Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

“This is important for areas of the Navy that have had equipment withheld. It will not change everything but the issue of this specific embargo is resolved”, Faurie added.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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