Falklands dispute: Argentina accuses UK of ‘defiance’ of anti-nuke treaty

Falklands dispute: Argentina accuses UK of ‘defiance’ of anti-nuke treaty
Argentina has lashed out at the UK for allegedly violating an international treaty and sending submarines with nuclear weapons capacity to the Falkland Islands - a nuclear-free zone.

“We currently are in an unstable stage of the implementation of the Tlatelolco treaty, which bans nuclear arms in Latin America and the Caribbean. [The Treaty] is being defied by the United Kingdom,” MercoPress quoted Eduardo Zuain, Argentina's Foreign Relations secretary, as saying prior to the Disarming Conference at the UN.

Zuain also blamed London for a strong military presence in the Atlantic,“including submarines with the capacity to transport nuclear armory to a nuclear-free area,” alleging they were dispatched to the area 30 years ago during the conflict between Buenos Aeros and London.

“This is why Argentina in several opportunities has expressed its concern, before different international forums over the possibility that the UK could have introduced nuclear weapons to the South Atlantic,” Argentina’s representative said in Geneva.

Zuain pointed out that Falklands constitute one of the world’s most militarized territories with more than 1,500 British soldiers and 3,000 citizens.

The diplomat went on to argue that such a military presence also threatens other countries in the region.

“We deplore that the UK government so far has not provided requested clarifications on the incidents reported, nor has it given any information which could corroborate or deny recent displacements of nuclear submarines with the capacity to carry atomic weapons,” Zuain stated.

The 1969 Treaty of Tlatelolco banned nuclear arms in Latin America and the Caribbean and established a nuclear-free zone.

Conflict over the archipelago in the south-western Atlantic Ocean has been simmering since 1982 when the two countries fought a war that the British won. In 2010, a British company began oil exploration near the archipelago, which has led to an exacerbation of the conflict.

Recently, the President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner sent a letter to the British Prime Minister David Cameron calling to negotiate the return of the archipelago to Buenos Aires. The British prime minister replied that the population of the islands support the UK’s sovereignty, which he stipulates would be confirmed by a public referendum in March.