PM v Argentina - diplomatic posturing?
- 20 June 2012
- From the section UK Politics
Coming 30 years after the end of the Falklands conflict any meeting between the leaders of Britain and Argentina was sure to be sensitive.
The moment David Cameron told Argentina's President Kirchner to respect the right of Falkland Islanders to determine their own future in a referendum; the moment she tried to hand him an envelope containing the 40 UN resolutions she says back her country's case; the moment he refused to take it was caught on camera.
Tonight the Argentine foreign minister summoned British reporters to give his version of what had happened. It was, he insisted, David Cameron who had engineered the confrontation - and that is, clearly, true. What kind of UN member is Great Britain - he asked - when she demands that others respect UN resolutions but doesn't comply herself.
When I asked him about the war 30 years ago he replied that's true before pointing out that 130 years ago, Britain invaded Argentina - the fourth time it had. Britain, he added, is famous for being a coloniser.
This was what Churchill called jaw jaw not war war but it was diplomatic posturing designed for domestic consumption when the memory of invasion and of deaths on both sides are still fresh.