UK minister tells Argentina to accept Falklands sovereignty poll
Argentina must accept the democratic verdict of the Falkland islanders following next year’s referendum, the UK government said yesterday.
Foreign Office Minister David Lidington said the government gave “full support” to the poll, to be held in early 2013, and would continue to strongly support the islanders’ right of self-determination. He said Britain would maintain a “defensive military posture” to protect the islands.
The government of the Falkland Islands announced on Tuesday it would hold a referendum of the 3,000 residents over the question of sovereignty.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the surrender by Argentine forces following the 1982 Falklands War.
Mr Lidington told MPs: “In the past the Falkland Islands have made it clear they wish to remain a self-governing British overseas territory and to continue living in the same peaceful and neighbourly manner that has characterised their long history on the islands, stretching back some nine generations.
“They have no interest in becoming a province of Argentina. Despite this the Argentine government continues either to misrepresent the views of the Falklanders or to dismiss them as irrelevant.
“This [referendum] will provide a legal, fair and decisive means for the people of the Falkland Islands to express their views. I hope Argentina and, indeed, all in the international community, will take note of the islanders’ freely expressed, democratic views.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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