Falklands' mines' removal meeting next week in London (Falkland Islands)

Argentine and British officials are scheduled to meet next week in London to continue talks on the removal of land and anti personnel mines planted in the Falkland Islands during the 1982 conflict by Argentine forces.


According to the Argentine press the Joint Task Group with representatives from both countries' Foreign Affairs and Defense ministries, will be receiving next Wednesday a pre-feasibility report from the University of Cranfield which has a Department specialized in these type of explosives and a long international record.

Experts from Cranfield University will present a full field report of the situation in 117 minefields which, if approved, could effectively mean the beginning of the mine clearance operation.

The London meeting will be the fourteenth since a bilateral committee begun working on the issue following an agreement reached October 2001 and in the framework of the Ottawa Convention for mine clearance endorsed by Argentina and the UK.

Paddy Bladen a retired British Army officer and consultant expert in explosives removal believes, according to Argentine sources, that 100% of the mines in the Islands can be swept.

Argentine troops are believed to have planted an estimated 25.000 mines in the Islands of which somewhere between 18.000 and 20.000 remain buried.

However no conclusive resolutions are expected in London next week, since even if the report is approved, field work is not expected to begin until next year.

Von: 22.03.2007 www.mercopress.com

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