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Arnhim Eustace: Government embarrassed about decision taken about Falkland Islands


The government is embarrassed by the decision it took in supporting ALBA member states in the sovereignty debate between Argentina and the United Kingdom, over the Falkland Islands.{{more}}

And that is the reason why the government did not meet with a two-person delegation which was visiting from the Falkland Islands recently.

This was the view expressed by Arnhim Eustace, Opposition Leader who on Monday, February 13 made the comment during the New Democratic Party (NDP) sponsored radio programme ‘New Times’.

“I think the government is embarrassed by its decision to keep out their (Falkland Islands) ships,” Eustace contended.

“The government found themselves in some hot soup,” he continued, saying that the decision by this country’s prime minister to support a ban of ships coming to ports bearing the flag of the Falkland Islands had negative implications for the country.

According to Eustace, members of the opposition met with Roger Edwards and Sharon Halford, both members of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly who visited the country recently, in the hope to lobby support from regional Heads of Governments in the dispute.

He explained that up to the time of the opposition meeting with the delegation, a meeting between the team and the government had not occurred.

“Which I found to be very strange, because the opposition normally meet with delegations after they meet with the government,” the Leader of the Opposition said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had contacted the Leader of the Opposition two weeks prior to the visit, Eustace said.

“So I was a bit surprised that the Falkland Island members of Parliament, two of them…and they couldn’t get up to that time, they couldn’t get a chance to meet with the prime minister or minister of foreign affairs,” he explained.

Eustace opined that it was because of Dr Ralph Gonsalves’ decision to support ALBA in the ban of ships from the Falkland Islands, why the government refused to meet with the delegation.

This decision, Eustace said, could have implications on the relations between this country and Britain and the rest of Europe.

It also could have a negative impact on relations between CARICOM states that were non-ALBA members, Eustace contended, because in January this year, Gonsalves spoke about self determination for the people of the Falkland Islands.

“And those kinds of decisions, when you go back on them, have implications for all our foreign relations,” Eustace said.