§ Mr. Colvin
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to restore diplomatic relations with the Argentine.
§ Mr. Pym
As the House knows, we have already taken a number of steps to reduce the tensions arising from the recent military conflict. We have repatriated all Argentine prisoners and have lifted the total exclusion zone. But in the absence of any clear and reliable indications from the Argentine Government on the permanent cessation of hostilities, we intend to maintain an arms embargo and a protection zone against a renewed Argentine attack.
Our economic measures against Argentina are also under active review. But any lifting of these must depend on the Argentines terminating the measures they have taken against us. The resumption of normal commercial relations must clearly be on an equal basis.
We have noted the statement of 5 July by the Argentine Foreign Minister that for the moment a renewal of relations is not possible. It must not, however, be forgotten that it was unprovoked aggression by Argentina which destroyed our previous relations and that, by declining to accept a permanent cessation of hostilities, the Argentines seem to be keeping open the possibility of a further unlawful recourse to force. There can in these circumstances be no resumption of normal relations with Argentina without a fundamental change in the Argentine attitude. Meanwhile, we shall maintain adequate British defence forces on the Falklands for as long as this is necessary for their security.