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Falklands’ sovereignty “is not negotiable. Period”, says British PM Cameron

Wednesday, June 15th 2011 - 18:36 UTC
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UK PM David Cameron in the Parliament UK PM David Cameron in the Parliament

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, sent a clear message on Wednesday during a Parliamentary speech regarding Argentina’s claim over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands as the British leader stated that sovereignty “is not negotiable. Period!”

When asked about the recent claims made by the Argentine government, which reached out to UN's Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the conservative leader emphasized that “as far as the Falklands maintain their interest in remaining as British sovereign territory, they should remain that way, and there is nothing more to say about it”.

Cameron’s strong stance came during the weekly round of questions that the Prime Minister faces at the House of Lords.

Furthermore, Tory Deputy Andrew Rosindell, asked Cameron to remind US President, Barack Obama, next time he sees him that “the British government will never accept any kind of negotiations over the South Atlantic archipelago”.

The statements follow several days charged with Falklands’ related events particularly since June 14th commemorates the end of the South Atlantic conflict of 1982, when the Argentine invasion of the Islands was defeated and ousted.

For the Falkland Islands, June 14 is Liberation Day and as such in commemorated.

A year later the fatally injured Argentine military Junta that had ruled since 1976 was out humiliated by the Malvinas defeat and democracy returned to Argentina with elected President Ricardo Alfonsín who took office 10 December 1983.

The last few days took off with a statement from the elected Falkland Islands government in reply to an Organization of American States declaration in support of Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Falklands.

“The people of the Falkland Islands have a right to self-determination, enshrined in international law” said the official release from Gilbert House adding that “we fully support the UK government’s current resolute position, which confirms that the issue of sovereignty is non-negotiable”.

Nevertheless “the Falklands seek nothing more than neighbourly relations with Argentina” and also points out that this year’s edition of the OAS declaration is not different from previous years: “it has not changed, and nor has anything else”.

The event was followed by a letter from retired Admiral Sir John “Sandy” Woodward who stated that Britain can now do “precisely nothing” to prevent Argentina retaking the Falklands (as in 1982) because of the serious UK defence cuts and the fact that the Obama administration is more interested in a ‘stable’ Argentina and therefore has little motivation to help the UK.

Admiral Woodward was commander of the British Task Force sent to recover the Falklands that had been invaded and occupied by Argentine forces. The US administration of President Ronald Reagan played a significant part in 1982 in providing satellite intelligence and missiles to British forces.

The UK Ministry of Defence was quick to reply: “Claims that the Falkland Islands could be taken without a fight are completely without substance. The current garrison in the Falkland Islands is much larger in scale and has a greater capability than in 1982 and this together with our ability to reinforce rapidly by air has been maintained”.

On Tuesday the Falkland Islands government held its annual reception at London Lincoln’s Inn to commemorate Liberation Day to express appreciation to allies, friends, supporters and guests for the last twelve months and also offer a brief “state of the nation” events and challenges.

The Falklands government representative in London Sukey Cameron said the Islands are entering a crucial period in their economic development, and called on the UK Government to continue to work in partnership with the Islands’ people in order to create an even more stable economic base from which to grow.

“Self-determination and self-sufficiency” is the Falkland Islands message to the world on the day the Islands commemorate the 29th anniversary of its liberation, said Ms Cameron who also cautioned that Argentina continues with its campaign to claim sovereignty over the Islands and disrupt the Falklands economy.

“We intend to build upon our economic successes so that we can maintain economic independence and sustain our quality of life. While economic growth is required for its own sake, it has wider-reaching benefits: with economic strength, we will be less vulnerable to external political pressure and free to determine our future” said Ms Cameron.

On the same Tuesday (and with a four-day delay), and taking advantage of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visit to Buenos Aires, Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said that “Argentina is a defender of peace and of the rights we hold over the Malvinas Islands.”

“Those who die fighting for what they believe in deserve honour and respect,” she added, as she criticized the British government. “Pretending to maintain geographical ruling over a territory that's over 14,000 kilometres away is ridiculous,” she said.

Mrs. Kirchner made the comments during the inauguration of a heliport next to Government House in Buenos Aires named after an Argentine soldier that died during the “Malvinas War with Great Britain in 1982”

At the ceremony Cristina Fernandez presented Falkland/Malvinas-born Jamie Peck with an Argentine DNI identification card. James Peck was born in Port Stanley in 1968 and is an artist very much appreciated in Argentina for his paintings referred to the 1982 conflict, particularly the tormented impact of what he saw at the time as a teenager has had on him.

Jamie started with a small atelier at his workshop in Port Stanley painting in his spare time. His talent was acknowledged in the Falklands but not much more since the memory of the war was too fresh. However Jamie really took off to the exhibition world when he landed in Buenos Aires and has been a complete success.

He later married an Argentine girl and alternated between Port Stanley and Buenos Aires. In 2008 he stood unsuccessfully for election for the Falklands’ Legislative Council

His father Terry, who died in 2006, was a member of the Falkland Islands Defense Force who during the Falklands conflict became a hero by acting as a scout for 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment and taking part in the fighting for Mount Longdon.

Jamie is now preparing a major exhibition for the 30th anniversary of the end of the Falklands conflict/Malvinas War 14 June 2012.

The four-day delay refers to the fact that in the Argentine calendar June 10 is called the “Day of Argentina’s Affirmation Rights over the Malvinas”, a commemoration that went low key on Friday 10th waiting for the events of this week.

This week also was witness of Peruvian president-elect Ollanta Humala to Argentina as part of a tour of several South American countries. The Argentine president recalled and thanked Peru for the military support given during the 1982 Malvinas war.

“I have a very special love for Peru and for what you did for Argentina during the Malvinas war”, said Argentine president Cristina Kirchner. She added “in 1982 Peru put at our disposal aircraft and pilots”.


Top Comments

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  • JPL

    The same uncompromising attitude and irresponsible that provoked the 1982 war. Too bad. This closed attitude ... only God knows what will happen in the future

    Jun 15th, 2011 - 06:46 pm 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    James Peck, sent a clear message.

    Jun 15th, 2011 - 06:56 pm 0
  • WestisBest

    WTF are you smoking JPL? are you saying that Britain provoked the 1982 war? The Argentine Government of the time was informed by the British that if they touched the Falklands there would be a military retaliation, how much clearer could they have been? It's about time you lot started taking responsability for your actions.

    Jun 15th, 2011 - 07:14 pm 0
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