Argentina was celebrating a diplomatic coup yesterday in its attempt to force Britain to accept talks on the future of the Falkland Islands, after a two-hour meeting in Buenos Aires between Hillary Clinton and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Responding to a request from Mrs Kirchner for “friendly mediation” between Britain and Argentina, Mrs Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said she agreed that talks were a sensible way forward and offered “to encourage both countries to sit down”.
Her intervention defied Britain’s longstanding position that there should be no negotiations unless the islands’ 3,000 inhabitants asked for them. It was hailed in Buenos Aires as a major diplomatic victory, but condemned in the Falklands.
Power Line gets the quote of the day:
One wonders: does the Obama administration deliberately try to screw up our foreign policy, or is it just a matter of ignorance and incompetence?
Times Online explains the blunder:
Ruperto Godoy, the official Argentine government spokesman on the islands, said the new pressure from Mrs Clinton was “very significant, very important” and would help Buenos Aires to force Britain to the negotiating table.
In the Falklands, reaction to the meeting ranged from dismay to fury. “It’s outrageous after all the support we have given the United States,” said Hattie Kilmartin, a sheepfarmer’s wife. “They are not looking at the people who are actually living here and what they want, and it’s crazy that they are even contemplating going against us.”
Jane Clement, who works at Stanley airport, said her reaction was “probably unprintable”. She added: “I’m very disappointed. I always thought we would have support.”
Tiffany Gillen, an American citizen living in the Falklands, wrote a letter of protest to President Obama, asking: “How can we not support these people, this country? Have we ceased to be allies of the United Kingdom?”
Nothing like stabbing your number one ally right in the back and posing for pictures afterwards.