First minister made 'pawn' in Falklands dispute

UNDER FIRE: Carwyn Jones

UNDER FIRE: Carwyn Jones

First published in News by

THE leader of the Welsh Conservatives has attacked First Minister Carwyn Jones and claimed a meeting with the Argentinian embassy in London made him look ‘a pawn’ in a long-running diplomatic dispute.

According to a statement released by the embassy, Mr Jones signed a joint co-operation agreement to organise celebrations to be held next year to mark the 150th anniversary of when Welsh settlers reached Patagonia with the governor of Chubut Province, Martin Buzzi, and the Argentinean ambassador to the UK, Alicia Castro.

But a statement the embassy said the ambassador had looked to “refute” allegations her country is hostile to people living in the Falklands Islands and criticised the UK government’s approach to the sovereignty dispute over them.

But Andrew RT Davies said: “I would expect the Welsh government to have seen this statement prior to its release. If so, it is extremely naïve for Labour's First Minister to allow himself to be used as a pawn in this dispute and an explanation is swiftly required.

“If the statement was not seen, it is incumbent upon Carwyn Jones to immediately distance himself from the context of the statement and the comments highlighted, which many will find distasteful.

“A number of Welsh guardsmen lost their lives liberating the Falklands and all should be remembered.”

But a Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “This matter is non-devolved and was not discussed at the meeting between the First Minister and the Governor of Chubut Province, Martín Buzzi yesterday.

“The meeting was an opportunity to re-sign the Memorandum of Understanding between Wales and Chubut in order to reflect the change in constitutional arrangements in Wales.”

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