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Cameron pledges to defend islanders
David Cameron has pledged to continue defending the Falkland Islands from Argentine "aggressive threats" as he marked the 30th anniversary of the South Atlantic territory's liberation.
The Prime Minister hailed the "astonishing courage" of the British forces who took part in the operation and led tributes to the 255 who lost their lives.
Three decades after Margaret Thatcher sent 27,000 troops and more than 100 ships to repel the Argentinian invaders, Buenos Aires continues to set its sights on claiming the territory.
But Mr Cameron said he hoped the decision by the Falkland Islands government to hold a referendum on their future sovereignty would end that dispute "once and for all".
The anniversary, he said, was "a time to pay tribute to the 255 UK servicemen who paid the ultimate price so that the people of the Falkland Islands could live in peace and in freedom.
"And it's a time to express our huge debt of gratitude to all those servicemen who showed such astonishing courage to recapture the Islands.
"Their bravery reminds us that freedom is only won, and peace is only kept, because there are exceptionally brave people willing to journey to the other side of the world to lay their lives on the line."
Britain's resolve to support the islanders "has not wavered in the last 30 years and it will not in the years ahead", he said.
In a swipe at Argentina, he went on: "For the last 180 years, 10 generations have called the Falkland Islands home and have strived hard to secure a prosperous future for their children.
"And despite the aggressive threats from over the water, they are succeeding.
"The Falklands economy is growing, the fishing industry is thriving and tourism is flourishing.
"Next year's referendum will establish the definitive choice of the Falkland Islanders once and for all.
"And just as we have stood up for the Falkland Islanders in the past, so we will in the future."
Meanwhile, the Falklands flag was flying above 10 Downing Street to mark the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the islands.
Number 10 said the gesture was a tribute to those who died in the 1982 conflict and a show of solidarity with the islanders of today.
The flag was also being flown over the Foreign Office, the offices of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at 70 Whitehall and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The Ministry of Defence was flying the flags of the three services - Army, Royal Navy and RAF - that drove out the Argentinian occupation.
"Thirty years ago today the Union Jack was hoisted above Government House in Stanley as British forces liberated the Falkland Islands," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
"Today we have hoisted the Falkland Islands flag above Downing Street to mark this important anniversary.
"We are flying the flag in tribute to all those who lost their lives in the conflict and in solidarity with the Falkland Islanders who continue to face aggressive threats from their neighbours across the water."
what do you think?
Riding on the back of military triumphs again Cameron. Left to you we would have capitulated at the first cross word. If you have any integrity at all rather than decrease troop numbers, do the sensible thing and increase them. Fewer top brass and more bayonets wouldn't be a bad start.