The UK and Argentina have released a historic joint statement in which they set out plans to co-operate more closely on a range of issues related to the Falkland Islands, over which the two countries went to war in 1982.

Fishing, trade, oil exploration and direct flights to the remote overseas territory will all be negotiated, though the sovereignty of the islands is not up for debate, according to Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Duncan released the statement with Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra on Wednesday (14 September) after spending Tuesday (13 September) in high-level meetings in Buenos Aires with Malcorra, President Mauricio Macri and other top officials.

Relations between the two nations have improved since Macri took over from Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in December 2015, who had put pressure on UK companies over oil exploration in the region.

The joint communique said: "In a positive spirit, both sides agreed to set up a dialogue to improve cooperation on South Atlantic issues of mutual interest. In this context it was agreed to take the appropriate measures to remove all obstacles limiting the economic growth and sustainable development of the Falkland Islands, including in trade, fishing, shipping and hydrocarbons."

Both countries agreed that additional flights would now be authorised between the remote islands 530km (330 miles) off Argentina and destinations on the mainland of South America. The extra flights could open up the islands for business and tourism.

"The UK and Argentina have a broad relationship that goes beyond our differences," said Duncan in a statement. "It's clear to me that Argentina is open for business. The measures agreed today demonstrate we can make progress through dialogue," the statement said, reports Reuters.

The Foreign Office insisted the sovereignty of the islands is not in question. A vast majority of the 3,000 islanders voted to remain under British control in a 2013 referendum, with 1,513 voting in favour, three votes against, in a 90% turnout.

The Foreign Office also announced that thousands of landmines which continue to be a hazard 24 years after the Falklands War in which almost 1,000 people died are to be cleared. A total of 46 minefields across the islands will be cleared over the next two years at a cost of some £20m ($26m).