LONDON (AA) – The United Kingdom and Argentina agreed to extend direct flights between Argentina and the Falkland Islands in an attempt “to improve cooperation” in the South Atlantic according to a statement from the Foreign Office issued on Wednesday.
The announcement came after Alan Duncan, the first Foreign Office minister to visit Argentina since 2009, held high-level meetings in the capital Buenos Aires these past two days.
“The South Atlantic Dialogue will seek to build cooperation in areas of mutual interest,” Duncan said. “Of course this will not include the issue of sovereignty.”
The joint statement said that both countries agreed to take “the appropriate measures to remove all obstacles limiting the economic growth and sustainable development of the Falkland Islands, including in trade, fishing, shipping and hydrocarbons.”
The Falklands Islands welcomed the agreement, according to a statement published on the government’s website.
The sovereignty of the Falkland İslands has been a long disputed issue between the U.K. and Argentina, which led to the Falklands War in 1982.
Today, the Falkland Islands have full internal self-government while the U.K. is responsible for its foreign affairs. The latest agreement is seen as the first significant progress on the issue since 1999.
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