MPs support joint effort to improve Falklands' airbridge (UK)
Members of Parliament on the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee have recognised the importance of the airbridge between the UK and the Falklands.
In a report issued this week, the MPs urged the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Ministry of Defence and the Falkland Islands Government that the costs, risks and awards of the new airbridge contract should be apportioned between the partners, "so that reliable public access to the Islands is provided and the requirements of all parties (such as a set number of premium seats) are met."
As for links with South America, in their deliberations the MPs were told the FCO planned to continue its diplomatic activities to address the air access with the new Argentine president and government.
On the issue of fishing, the MPs stressed the importance of the industry to the Falklands and the need for a treaty governing high seas fishing in the South West Atlantic. In its report, the public accounts committee reported that the FCO was in ongoing negotiations with the World Wildlife Fund, the European Commission and relevant coastal states about a possible resolution.
UK Ministers are to consider the options for clearing landmines in the Falklands before deciding on the next steps, including whether the UK will be seeking an extension under the Ottawa Convention, confirmed the Governor on Thursday.
Media interest in the subject of landmine removal in the Falklands and whether the UK will apply for an extension to the Ottawa Convention deadline for clearance by March 2009, has been sparked by anti-landmine groups who are aware that if the UK intends to apply for an extension to its commitment to de-mine, it will have to do so very soon.
There is provision under the Convention for an extension of up to ten years. Penguin News
Von: 5.5.2008, www.mercopress.com