On January 3, the 183 anniversary of the British occupation of the Falkland Islands, the Argentine Government reiterated their claims regarding the sovereignty of the archipelago, located in the South Atlantic – but the UK has not been swayed and remain stuck firmly to their guns.
It comes as Argentina’s new president Mauricio Macri demanded the UK enter talks over the “unlawful” Falklands occupation as he slighted David Cameron’s call for a “more mature relationship”.
Relations between the two countries have been strained by former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and it had been hoped that Macri’s presidency would inspire in a period of improved relations.
“On January 3, 1833, the Falkland Islands were occupied by British forces that evacuated the population and the Argentine authorities legitimately established there and replaced them by subjects of the occupying power”, recalled the Argentine Foreign Ministry in a statement.
“The Republic of Argentina immediately protested this act of illegitimate force that is still without consent at any time,” it continued.
The executive also said that the Argentina Constitution, “enshrines the permanent and inalienable objective of recovering the full exercise of sovereignty over these territories and maritime areas, in accordance with the principles of international law and respecting the way of life of the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands”.
United Nations laws
The statement also noted that 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations clause that recognized the case of the archipelago as one of colonialism, and that “for decades” the international community has urged Argentina and the UK “to find a peaceful and lasting solution” to bilateral negotiations “as soon as possible”.
“Argentina renews its firm commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes, international law and multilateralism and invites the United Kingdom to resume negotiations to resolve the matter as soon as possible, and fairly and definitively dispute sovereignty “, concluded the Foreign Ministry.
What does Britain say?
In the Prime Minister’s Christmas message to the Falkland Islands, David Cameron expressed hope that Mr Macri’s election would “allow us to move towards a more mature relationship”.
“We are very clear that the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands should be determined by the Islanders and they expressed their view very clearly in the recent referendum,” said a Downing Street spokesperson on Tuesday, January 5.
Asked if the Prime Minister was disappointed by the Argentine government’s statement, she added: “The statement talks about how our countries should work together to address a range of issues, not just the Falklands Islands but in the broader region.
“We need to now see what those talks lead to … where we can develop a constructive relationship.
“The Prime Minister spoke to the new president at the end of the year.
“They agreed they want to look at ways we can have a more constructive relationship.”
Argentina and Britain fought a war over the sovereignty of the islands in 1982 when Argentine troops landed on the islands.
In the conflict, which ended with the surrender of Argentina in June of that same year, 255 British, 649 Argentine and three islanders died.
In March 2013 a referendum was carried out on the island which was not recognized by the Argentine government. The population of the Falklands decided by a large majority – 99.8% to be exact- to remain a British overseas territory.