Falkland Islands’ referendum message to Argentina: “intimidation of Islanders must cease”
The Argentine government demands to control the Falkland Islands against the wishes of the people who live there are fundamentally incompatible with modern democratic values and attempts to intimidate the Islanders must cease, said Foreign Secretary William Hague in an update to Parliament.
FCO Hague was referring to the British government’s response to the Falkland Islands referendum on their political status as a British Overseas Territory, which was overwhelmingly confirmed.
On 10th and 11th March 2013, the Falkland Islanders voted overwhelmingly to maintain their current constitutional arrangements with the United Kingdom. The result is a clear democratic expression of the Islanders’ wishes and was conducted in a free, fair and transparent way.
“We believe that the result should be recognized by the whole international community as a definitive act of self determination. It has sent the clearest possible message to the Argentine Government that its demands to control the Falkland Islands against the wishes of the people who live there are fundamentally incompatible with modern democratic values. Attempts to intimidate the Islanders must cease” underlined Hague.
The Foreign Secretary confirmed that representatives of the Falkland Islands Government will travel widely in the coming weeks to convey the result around Latin America and elsewhere.
“More broadly, the Government will continue to strengthen our engagement with Latin America, as I set out in my Canning House speech in November 2010”.
Since the UK has considerable interests in the region, with high potential for future economic growth, “I am confident that this increased cooperation and partnership with the countries of Latin America is consistent with our desire to ensure that the interests and wishes of the Falkland Islanders are respected and protected”.