UK & World News
Falklands Row Reopened By President's Letter
David Cameron has dismissed a call by the president of Argentina for Britain to hand back the Falkland Islands.
Cristina Kirchner demanded in an open letter that the Prime Minister abide by UN resolutions to "negotiate a solution" to the row.
But Mr Cameron insisted that the future of the islands was up to the people who live there, not Argentina.
He told the leader that she should "listen" to the result of a referendum due to be held in March.
And he vowed that Falklands residents would have his full backing if they choose to remain British.
"The future of the Falkland Islands should be determined by the Falkland Islanders themselves, the people who live there," he said.
"Whenever they have been asked their opinion, they say they want to maintain their current status with the United Kingdom.
"They're holding a referendum this year and I hope the president of Argentina will listen to that referendum and recognise it is for the Falkland Islanders to choose their future.
"As long as they choose to stay with the United Kingdom they have my 100% backing."
The Foreign Office added that the Falkland Islanders "are British and have chosen to be so".
"They remain free to choose their own futures, both politically and economically, and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter," a spokesman said.
"This is a fundamental human right for all peoples. There are three parties to this debate, not just two as Argentina likes to pretend.
"The islanders can't just be written out of history. As such, there can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the islanders so wish."
Ms Kirchner made her latest appeal in a letter published in The Guardian and Independent newspapers.
It claimed Argentina had been "forcibly stripped" of the islands her country calls Las Malvinas in a "blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism".
"The Argentines on the Islands were expelled by the Royal Navy and the United Kingdom subsequently began a population implantation process similar to that applied to other territories under colonial rule," she said.
"Since then, Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity.
"The Question of the Malvinas Islands is also a cause embraced by Latin America and by a vast majority of peoples and governments around the world that reject colonialism."
Ms Kirchner first made calls for the return of the islands during last year's 30th anniversary of the two countries going to war.
She and Mr Cameron also clashed over the issue when they came face-to-face at the G20 summit in Mexico last June.
The Prime Minister rejected her call for negotiations about sovereignty and said she should respect the results of a referendum due in March.
The Falklanders will vote then on whether they wish to retain their ties with Britain.
The Argentine president tried again to push the issue when she appeared at the United Nations, appearing at the annual meeting of the little-known UN Decolonisation Committee on the 30th anniversary of the British victory.
She used the occasion to reiterate Argentina's opposition to any more wars and to criticise the Prime Minister's decision to mark the day by flying the Falklands flag over Number 10.
In December, Argentina protested at Britain's decision to name a vast swathe of Antarctica Queen Elizabeth Land. Its foreign ministry handed a formal protest note to British ambassador John Freeman in Buenos Aires.
The area, which makes up around a third of the British Antarctic Territory, is also claimed by the South American country.
Barry Elsby, a member of the Islands' Legislative Assembly, said: "We understand that the Argentine government has put out a letter that both calls our home a colony and claims that the United Kingdom is ignoring United Nations General Assembly resolutions.
"We are not a colony; our relationship with the United Kingdom is by choice. Unlike the government of Argentina, the United Kingdom respects the right of our people to determine our own affairs, a right that is enshrined in the UN Charter and which is ignored by Argentina."
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what do you think?
Take a hike Kirchner
Let us first see ALL South American countries handsed back to the indigenous populations. I favour war over this.
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I'll huff and I'll puff and blow your house down! This woman needs a history lesson, playing the wolf will get her nowhere. Offered an equal share in the off shore wealth of the island she stamps her little foot and demands it all. Well tough luck nothing doing.
Hands off. Hope Cameron is as strong as The Iron Lady
If she thinks our claim to the Falklands is unjustified then how does she justify her claim to any part of Antartica? She is doing what Galtieri did and attempting to use the Falklands as a patriotic drum to beat. When Galtieri lost the war he was removed from office very soon after and the same will happen to her.
Signs Argentina has a problem - every time their government is in trouble they look to the Falklands as a diversion. I guess possible oil is another attraction given they have fiscal problems
dont be too gung ho about this,enough lives were lost the last time the subject reared its ugly head.
more reason then to tell argentina to stuff itself!
Lets think about looking after the British citizen who live on the island, seriously would you turn your back on them!!!!!!!.
Interesting to see that the traitors paper published it
So they now claim large parts of Antarctica do they??, on what grounds ???. When they invaded South Georgia, they had never previously claimed that island either. Seems to me, their claims become larger and larger as time goes on. If we give them enough time, they will be claiming Ireland and the Isle of Wight before long...............
Argentina is only trying this on as our country is in the hands of a weak and self interested government.
Just how far back in history are we supposed to go in order to determine who has control of what? Thanks to the greed of monarchs, emperors, czars and latterly politicians (pause to spit) national boundaries have changed quite frequently over the last couple of millenia. So, why don't we go back 500 years, in which case a large part of southern europe and north africa should be owned by Turkey, and the americas would only just have been found by western european countries, so ALL of it should be owned by the indigenous amerindians. Or 2000 years perhaps, so a large part of europe and north africa should be owned by Rome. Or perhaps 10000 years, when the concept of 'countries' and 'nationalities' had yet to be invented, so nobody claimed ownership of anything. Wouldn't that be fairest?
Excellent point. All these claims of ancient ownership rights are just right-on, politically correct rubbish that is used to justify countless violent deaths around the world.
The Argentines have been expelled from the islands (twice) in much the same way as the as the native indians were expelled from Argentina by Spanish invaders. Most of today's Argentinians are descended from those same Spanish invaders, does this mean they will hand back Argentina to the Indians??. This is a bit rich, especially coming from a country which has given shelter to such illustrious persons as Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele in the past. I do not think we need to take lessons in people's rights from Argentina................
Windows Live User
Trying it on everywhere she is - - - British Antarctic Territory ? Territory overlaps Antarctic claims made by Chile and Argentina British Indian Ocean Territory ? claimed by Mauritius and Seychelles Falkland Islands ? claimed by Argentina Gibraltar ? claimed by Spain South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ? claimed by Argentina
Perhaps if we offered her a part in " Eastenders " or " Coronation Street " she`d be happy, she`d certainly look more in place.
I think it's time to call her bluff - if she want's to see british colonialism over "Argentine lands" then see how much worse it can get when there are a few astute class subs sitting outside of their waters (as they claimed there were last year anyway). Knowing that there has been a war over this in very recent times - and that there is always the possibility for another, is it really a good thing to agitate things over elections - Our Navy and RAF may be in a mess, but nothing to what it was with Thatcher, plus they have progressed massively technologically, I don't see the Argentines having managed to do that themselves.
WHEN WILL THIS WOMAN SHUT UP??? The islands are British and will always be British. We didn't lose all those soldiers, just to be told "I see you were wasting your time, the islands belong to Argentina." Hope Cameron has the balls to help the Islanders in any way he can. And I also hope that there will be an overwhelming respone fron the Islanders on remaining British. And if they do, I hope that Argentina will see sense and shut up. Nobody wants to her them drone on and on, like some broken record. So there.
Did thay not find a lot of oil?