Defence minister Arturo Puricelli said Monday that Argentina “has no conflict hypothesis with countries from the region” and thanked the “strong support” from his visiting Brazilian peer Nelson Jobim regarding Argentine sovereignty over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.
“We have a very clear position on the Malvinas sovereignty issue. We have a regional historic commitment to Argentina”, underlined Jobim according to a release from the Argentine ministry of Defence. The minister added that in line with this commitment Brazil will not grant any collaboration to military vessels or government civilian vessels from the United Kingdom and will not collaborate with oil or energy explorations in the South Atlantic Islands.
Minister Puricelli praised his Brazilian peer statement which “fills us with satisfaction” adding that Brazil’s position in support of Argentine claims over the Malvinas Islands sovereignty “bring us even closer”.
Puricelli said that the official visit to Argentina of Brazil’s Ministry of Defence was in the framework of guidelines established by Presidents Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Dilma Rousseff during their recent January 31st summit. At the time it was agreed on the need to promote Argentine-Brazilian cooperation since it is of “strategic and essential value”.
In this framework the defence ministers Monday declaration ratifies the “qualitative re-launching of bilateral relations in defence issues” between Argentina and Brazil.
The statements were done during a press conference Monday midday at the Admiral Storni shipyard which together with the Tandanor yard conform the Argentine Naval Industry Complex, CINAR.
Puricelli pointed out that Argentina has no conflict hypothesis, “those who have such a conflict hypothesis undoubtedly have a very backward, very old vision of what Defence is about. We work on planning for capacities and for shared strategic interests such as those Brazil has with Argentina, Argentina has with Brazil and with the rest of the countries from South America”.
Jobim said that the South American countries strategy is a “strategy of collaboration”. That is why it is necessary for Brazil and Argentina to have an only voice. “We need to fix our minds on the future as the great challenge for South America”, and underlined the significance of the Defence Council for South America and the Strategic Studies Centre which will have headquarters in Buenos Aires.
Both ministers coincided in the need “to deepen Defence policy integration and cooperation”. Puricelli underlined that integration will be focused on science and technology fields in the different Defence areas.
Jobim said that Argentina and Brazil are starting “a new time in their Defence relations”. He mentioned that in the document signed, priority is given to the manufacturing of the light armoured vehicle Gaucho; joint naval tasks and to advances in the agreement between Argentina’s Manufacturer of Aircraft (FA de A) and Brazil’s Embraer to develop the KC-390 which will eventually replace the traditional Lockheed Hercules C 130. Jobim also anticipated that a further document is to be signed for the “transfer of sensitive technology knowledge” to further sponsor “closely knit relations”.
To reaffirm such spirit the press conference took place next to Argentina’s submarine San Juan.
Regarding bi-national cooperation for a ‘South Atlantic free of nuclear arms’ Puricelli said both countries have very clear positions on the issue. “The South Atlantic is precisely for countries in the South Atlantic”.
Among the issues included in the Defence Joint Declaration are: projects for joint technological and industrial development such as the light armoured vehicle Gaucho and the KC-390 program (FA de A/Embrear); the upkeep and maintenance of navy turbines to be executed at Argentina’s naval arsenal and shipyard “Comandante Espora” together with any other projects that could be identified for this area.
Other areas: cooperation in logistics support for Antarctic campaigns; bi-national cooperation for a South Atlantic free of nuclear weapons; strengthening of the annual program for combined exercises and joint cooperation in aid support efforts to other countries.
The main Department directors from the Defence ministry as well as the top brass of the three Argentine services were present during the visit to the shipyard and later press