Argentina TEARS Falkland pact with UK demanding ‘renegotiation of islands sovereignty’ – but James Cleverly insists they are ‘BRITISH’
- Argentina tore up the cooperation pact with the UK and demanded talks over the Falkland Islands
- It claims sovereignty over islands despite them being British territory since 1833
Argentina has torn up a cooperation pact with the UK and demanded new talks over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.
But in response, Secretary of State James Cleverly insisted that ‘the Falkland Islands are British’.
Known in Spanish as the Malvinas, the Falklands were the subject of a short but brutal war after Argentina invaded in 1982. Britain drove out the invaders after sending a naval armada.
In 2016, the two sides agreed to disagree over sovereignty, but to cooperate on energy, shipping and fisheries, and in identifying the remains of unknown Argentine soldiers killed in battle.
But during the G20 talks in New Delhi, Argentina’s Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero told Cleverly that his government was giving up on the pact.
The UK-ruled Falkland Islands, known in Spanish as the Malvinas, were the subject of a short but brutal war after Argentina invaded in 1982. Britain drove off the invading force after sending in a naval armada. Pictured: British troops in the Falkland Islands last year
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (pictured at the G20 summit on Thursday) insisted that ‘the Falkland Islands are British’
In a series of tweets, he renewed Argentina’s long-standing demands for negotiations over the islands’ sovereignty at the UN in New York.
After the pair’s meeting at the G20 in India, Mr Cleverly said: ‘The Falkland Islands are British. Islanders have the right to decide their own future – they have chosen to remain a self-governing British Overseas Territory.”
A 2013 referendum on the islands resulted in a 99.8 per cent vote to remain British.
Argentina’s move was announced just as Britain’s America Secretary David Rutley visited Buenos Aires for what he called “productive” meetings.
“Argentina has chosen to move away from an agreement that has brought comfort to the families of those killed in the 1982 conflict,” Rutley tweeted, calling the decision disappointing.
“Argentina, the UK and the Falklands have all benefited from this agreement,” he said.
Both countries last year marked the 40th anniversary of the 1982 conflict, which claimed the lives of 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British servicemen and three women living on the island.
Tensions over the war remain. Last year, an Argentine song insulting the English over the Falklands War became the country’s most popular song on Spotify after a video of Lionel Messi’s team singing it during the World Cup went viral.
Video emerged of cheering Argentine players taking off their shirts as they mocked Brazil and England in the song after they beat Croatia in the semi-finals of the World Cup on Tuesday night.
In 1982, the Falkland Islands were invaded by Argentine forces who were beaten back in a ten-week war on the orders of Margaret Thatcher and the islands were returned to British control. Pictured: British soldiers raise the flag after the war
The text contains a line that reads “Ingleses putos de Malvinas no me olvido,” which roughly translates to “f*****g English in the Falklands, I don’t forget.”
The word ‘putos’ to describe the English often has homophobic connotations and can also mean cowards, while the Falklands are referred to by their Spanish name ‘Las Malvinas’.
Argentina still claims sovereignty over the Falklands, despite it being a British Overseas Territory since 1833.
But Argentina claims it acquired the Falklands from Spain in 1816 before Britain asserted its rule.
In 1982, the archipelago was invaded by Argentine forces who were defeated in a ten-week war ordered by Margaret Thatcher and the islands were returned to British control.
In fierce fighting on land, air and sea, a total of seven British ships were lost, including the Sir Galahad, HMS Coventry and HMS Sheffield, which were hit by an Exocet anti-ship missile.