“We wish to remain British and the sovereignty issue is not for negotiation” was the Falkland Islands government statement in response to last Saturday’s meeting in Chile of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
“Whilst Britain and the Falkland Islands have moved on to a new relationship based on democracy and self-determination, our Argentine neighbors remain in a time warp, still pressing their anachronistic claim to territorial sovereignty. In short, they wish to colonize the Falkland Islands”, points out the statement.
The two leaders met in Viña del Mar in the framework of the Progressive Governance conference and according to reports from both sides, 15 of the 35 minutes, on Argentine request, were absorbed by the Falkland Islands dispute.
Mrs. Kirchner demanded that the United Kingdom complies with United Nations resolutions calling for talks to find a solution to the sovereignty conflict, while PM Brown stated what he had advanced before reaching Chile, “there is nothing to discuss on the Falklands from our side” and emphasized the importance of self determination.
“Both sides agreed that they have differences of opinion”, said a Foreign Office official following the Saturday meeting.
Further on the statement underlines “we have been encouraged by the UK Government's clear and unshakeable position that the sovereignty issue is not for negotiation. There is no turning back from this.
”Falkland Islanders have expressed their views freely and unequivocally over many years. We wish to remain British. Our constitution enshrines the right to determine our own future. Surely no-one who supports democracy and human rights can oppose this?
”It is regrettable that 27 years after the Falklands War it is still necessary to spell this out once again to yet another Argentine leader who hasn't realized that the world has changed and countries cannot ride rough-shod over the right to self-determination of free people.