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Argentina recalls 1833; Falklands, new constitution

Saturday, January 3rd 2009 - 20:00 UTC
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On the eve of the 176th anniversary of the “illegitimate occupation” of the Islas Malvinas by the United Kingdom (January 3rd.) the administration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner issued a statement emphasizing Argentina's sovereignty claims over the South Atlantic archipelago and described “as unjustified the British negative to address the question”.

The release from the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalls that the "National Constitution enshrines the permanent and un-renounceable goal of recovering the full exercise of sovereignty over those territories and adjoining maritime spaces". "This objective is State policy and responds to a collective desire of the Argentine people". According to the Argentine version of historic events on January 3, 1833, "British forces occupied the Islas Malvinas, dislodging by force its inhabitants and Argentine authorities legitimately established there". The release underscores that "176 years have gone by since the illegitimate occupation which still persists", and the Argentine government, "once again reaffirms Argentina's non prescribeable rights over the Islas Malvinas, Georgia del Sur and Sandwich del Sur and the corresponding maritime and insular spaces because they are integral part of the national territory", adds the release from the Palacio San Martín. Traditionally the January statement from the Argentine ministry marks the beginning of the Argentine Falkland Islands claims' calendar. However this year the Falkland Islands elected government advanced such a calendar by announcing that January first marked the beginning of a New Year and a New Constitution for the Falklands. A constitution that enshrines the Falklands' people right to self determination, and as such their (reiterated) decision to remain British, as was outlined by the Falkland Islands Government spokesperson, Councillor Mike Summers. "This is a post-colonial Constitution which the Falkland Islands Government initiated and on which the Falkland Islands people were consulted". "It recognises the reality of the modern world in which the rights of free peoples are paramount and the assertion of territorial rights, irrespective of the wishes of those who live there, has no place", pointed out Councillor Summers. "We have freely exercised our right of self-determination on numerous occasions by clearly indicating our wish to remain British. This new Constitution re-states our right to decide our own future and enhances our powers of self-government." The Argentine release also accuses the United Kingdom of not acting as has been agreed with Argentina "on provisional bilateral understandings under the sovereignty safeguard formula, which had the purpose of cooperation in peaceful aspects (of the dispute) as a means of contributing to create the appropriate climate for the resumption of negotiations to solve the dispute". But according to Argentina that objective has not been reached because of the UK' persistence in "not addressing the sovereignty question" as well as "the continued attitude of British unilateral actions related to the disputed area which not only violate the spirit and content of those understandings".

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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