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UK reaffirms Falklands’ sovereignty on postage stamps issue

Saturday, May 30th 2009 - 15:43 UTC
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Argentina objects to stamps issued by South Atlantic Islands Argentina objects to stamps issued by South Atlantic Islands

Britain stands by its decision to issue postage stamps from the disputed territories of and around the Falkland Islands, according to a letter to the UN secretary-general made public at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this week.

“The United Kingdom firmly rejects the complaint by the government of the Argentine Republic concerning the issuing of postage stamps by the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and British Antarctic Territory,” said the May 19 letter from Philip Parham, the charge d’affaires of the British Mission to the United Nations, who transmitted the letter to the UN chief from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship.

“The United Kingdom has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas” said the letter, adding that Britain “firmly rejects” the complaint by the government in Buenos Aires that the disputed islands and the surrounding maritime areas are “illegitimately occupied” by Britain.

On April 23, Argentina sent a letter to the secretary-general “rejecting the attempt by the United Kingdom to issue postage stamps on behalf of the so-called and illegitimate ‘governments’ of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the alleged ‘British Antarctic Territory.’”

For its part, Britain said in its letter that the government has “no doubt about its sovereignty” over the disputed territories, and referred to article IV of the Antarctic Treaty, of which both Britain and Argentina are parties to.

Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty effectively ceases all sovereignty claims, recognition and non-recognition of claims, and precludes any activity to assert any new claim or enlarge any existing claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica.

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