Through a statement from the Foreign Ministry, the Government accused Chile of “trying to appropriate a part of the Argentine continental shelf and a large area of the seabed and ocean floor”, following a decree by President Sebastián Piñera that set the limits of its territory sovereign in the South Atlantic.
The measure published yesterday in the Official Gazette – the Chilean Official Gazette – and dated August 23, exposes an overlap in the territorial delimitation of sovereignty of both countries, which formalizes a new territorial dispute with the trans-Andean nation.
“The measure attempted by Chile seeks to appropriate a part of the Argentine continental shelf and an extensive area of the seabed and ocean, a maritime space that is part of the Common Heritage of Humanity in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ”, is stated in the letter.
Consequently, the aforementioned Chilean claim is not acceptable to the Argentine Republic and raises a situation that must be resolved through dialogue in defense of Argentine rights; in accordance with the historic brotherhood of our peoples and international law ”, indicates the note released this Saturday.
In 2020, the government of Sebastián Piñera questioned the new map of Argentina with its extended continental shelf and the law sanctioned by Fernández. The decree established the Chilean platform from 200 nautical miles from the Diego Ramírez Islands, south of Cape Horn.
Visualization of the Chilean map on the Austral Sea and the point of conflict.-
However, this delimitation includes maritime areas that had already been formalized as Argentina’s own by the United Nations (UN) since 2009.
“This measure aims to project the continental shelf east of meridian 67º 16’0, which clearly does not agree with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship concluded between both countries in 1984,” stated the Foreign Ministry statement, by Felipe Solá.
According to the terms of the Argentine State, the outer limit of the Argentine continental shelf in this area is reflected in National Law 27,557, sanctioned on August 4, 2020 unanimously in both Chambers of the National Congress and promulgated by the Power Executive on August 24 of that same year.
“Said law merely collects in an internal norm the timely presentation made by the Argentine Government on said area before the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLPC). This presentation is fully consistent with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship and was approved without question by said Commission with the purpose of establishing a definitive and mandatory maritime boundary in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Neither the presentation nor the decision of the Commission were contested by Chile, ”says the text of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The map with the southern continental shelf of Chile, according to the presidential decree of Piñera.-
It is not the first conflict between the administrations of Alberto Fernández and Sebastián Piñera. At the beginning of August, an error in a Fernández decree with military directives provoked a strong claim from Chile, where the so-called “National Defense Policy Directive” was established.
Specifically, said regulations indicated that the Strait of Magellan and the Mar de Hoces were considered “shared spaces in which it is essential to continue strengthening joint study, exploration and control.” This forced the Chilean government to send a formal communication recalling that “the Strait of Magellan, including its two banks, is sovereign Chilean territory.” In this dispute, the Argentine government recognized that it was its own mistake and that it would be amended.
In the case of the dispute over the limits of the continental shelf, the conflict was foreseeable. Since last year, Sebastián Piñera had anticipated that he would present the claim to the UN to incorporate miles of sovereignty over the maritime platform of the Austral Sea, a demand similar to the one that the Argentine government made in 2009. (Infobae)