May 18, 2013
Islanders: Malvinas Referendum to send 'strong message' to Argentina
As the referendum allowing British inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands to reaffirm their political status approaches, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the South Atlantic territories, Jan Cheek, considered that the UK’s move will send a “strong message” to Argentina.
“We would be deluding ourselves if we thought that Argentina would change overnight, but we hope it'll be a strong message to them and to others”, Cheek told AFP news agency adding that the plebiscite will show that most of the people are satisfied with the Malvinas’ status quo with the Islands remaining a British overseas territory.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman also defended UK's self-determination pledge that has prompted the coalition government of David Cameron to continually reject sovereignty negotiations with Argentina.
“The islanders have the right to be heard and to determine the future they want for them and for future generations”, the British official said.
Buenos Aires, however, has dismissed the significance of the upcoming referendum which Argentine ambassador in London Alicia Castro described as a “media operation” to “avoid dialogue and international law” and affirmed it “will not put an end” to the bilateral dispute.