May 21, 2013
UK to defend Malvinas from Argentina, says PM Cameron
After President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner urged the UK to abide by a 1965 UN resolution to "negotiate a solution" to the dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgia, and South Sandwich islands, British Prime Minister said he’s "absolutely clear" that Britain would defend the Islands in the face of mounting pressure from Argentina.
Also, British government said the Prime Minister would "do everything to protect the interests of the islanders.”
"The future of the islands should be determined by the Falkland Islanders themselves - the people who live there," said Cameron.
A referendum on the islands' political status is to be held in March.
Likewise, Cameron 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, and as long as they choose to stay with the United Kingdom they have my 100% backing."
In an open letter to Cameron, published as an advert in the Guardian newspaper and the Independent, President Fernández repeats calls for the islands to come under the sovereignty of her nation.
The Argentine president says the islands were forcibly stripped from Argentina in "a blatant exercise of 19th Century colonialism".
Argentina's view is that the referendum is illegitimate and will have no bearing on their claim because they see the islanders as occupiers, rather than residents.
Fernández says her letter is published on the same date - 3 January - when, 180 years ago: "Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Malvinas Islands, which are situated 14,000 km away from London".
She goes on: "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.
"Since then, Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity."
In her final paragraph, she ends: "In the name of the Argentine people, I reiterate our invitation for us to abide by the resolutions of the United Nations."
Argentina inherited ownership of the islands from Spain, arguing that British colonists occupied the islands by force in 1833 and expelled settlers, violating Argentina's territorial integrity.