The South American country hopes to bring the issue of the islands’ disputed sovereignty to the United Nations.
Argentina has called on the United Kingdom to start new talks over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, a disputed archipelago in the South Atlantic.
On Thursday, Argentina’s foreign ministry announced the government’s plans to revisit its claim to the islands, called the Islas Malvinas in Spanish.
Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero has formulated “a proposal to resume sovereignty negotiations over the Falkland issue,” the ministry said in a statement after meeting with British officials.
The decision effectively ends the 2016 Foradori-Duncan pact, a non-binding statement to disagree over the islands’ sovereignty, in favor of improving trade and security relations.
Argentina’s announcement was met with strong criticism in the UK, which also claims control of the Falkland Islands. The two sides were in talks this week in New Delhi, India, at the Group of 20 (G20) summit, which concluded on Thursday.
After meeting with Cafiero, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly took to Twitter to blast Argentina’s plan to revisit Falkland Islands talks.
“The Falkland Islands are British,” he wrote on Thursday. “Islanders have the right to decide their own future – they have chosen to remain a self-governing British Overseas Territory.”
His view was shared by David Rutley, the British Secretary of State for the Americas and the Caribbean, who called the announcement “a disappointing decision” following his recent visit to Buenos Aires.
“Argentina has chosen to distance itself from an agreement that has brought comfort to the families of those killed in the 1982 conflict,” he wrote on Twitter. “Argentina, the UK and the Falklands have all benefited from this agreement.”
The Foradori-Duncan Pact included an agreement to identify the remains of unknown Argentine soldiers who died during the 1982 Falklands War.
In that conflict, long-simmering tensions between the UK and Argentina came to a head when the South American country launched a military invasion to assert its control over the archipelago.
The UK sent its navy to respond. The conflict, which lasted 10 weeks, resulted in the deaths of 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British soldiers and three civilian women.
The archipelago, which is about 600 kilometers (373 mi) off the coast of Argentina, is home to an estimated 3,200 people from 60 countries, according to the government. Currently, the UK identifies the islands as a self-governing overseas territory.
In 2013, a referendum was held on the island to gauge whether the inhabitants wanted to retain their status as a British territory. An estimated 99.8 percent of participants voted yes.
In Thursday’s announcement, Argentina called for the issue of the islands’ sovereignty to be resolved before the United Nations.