Anthony Williams


Anthony Williams was the British Ambassador in Buenos Aires from 1980 to 1982 and therefore was key in relating information to and from the Argentine Junta to the British government. He played a key role in attempting to negotiate some form of leaseback with the Argentine government and facilitated communications between the Junta and Nicholas Ridley. Later he would be critical of British policy towards the Falkland Islands. He believed that it was incompatible that the British Government placed the rights of the Falkland Islanders above those of relations with Argentina and yet did not provide the islands with the ability to protect themselves from their powerful neighbour. As it was, he believed that Britain was following the worst of all diplomatic paths by promising that the Falkand Islanders had the final say in their destiny and yet not providing the military facilities to ensure this right. He wrote a scathing telegram to London as he packed his bags to leave Buenos Aires following the invasion in which he stated:

Knowing full well that current British policy with regard to the islands could not lead to any satisfaction of Argentine aspirations and that the Argentines were becoming increasingly restive, we refused to face the fact that our encouragement of total intransigence from the islanders involved a physical risk to them, to counter which no adequate provision had been made or could have been made. Nor did we make adequately clear to the islanders the stark choice that they faced. They were never really brought facte to face with the full realities of their position.

He departed from Argentina on April 7th 1982 as Britain broke off all diplomatic relations as a consequence of the Argentine Invasion one week earlier. No Ambassador would return to Argentina for a decade after that.


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by Stephen Luscombe