Published On: Thu, Jan 18th, 2024

Argentina’s Javier Milei refuses to agree that Falklands are British as row rumbles on | World | News

The Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute took centre stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos as the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, and Argentina’s President, Javier Milei, engaged in talks. The Foreign Office has stated that both leaders “agreed to disagree” over the contentious issue of the islands.

In a statement, the Foreign Office detailed the meeting, describing it as “warm and cordial”, with discussions centred on building a more constructive relationship between the UK and Argentina.

The leaders expressed mutual support for enhancing cooperation in areas such as trade, education, culture, and people-to-people links.

However, the focal point of the discussions was the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, known as Islas Malvinas in Argentina.

President Milei has previously suggested a Hong Kong-style agreement, proposing the transfer of sovereignty to Buenos Aires. Despite his optimism about finding a resolution, the Foreign Office was clear that the UK’s position on the Falklands remains unchanged, stressing the Islanders’ right to self-determination.

“On the Falkland Islands, the Foreign Secretary and President Milei said they would agree to disagree, and do so politely. The UK position and ongoing support for the Falkland Islanders’ right to self-determination remains unchanged,” stated the Foreign Office spokesperson.

Lord Cameron, in a social media post, highlighted the positive aspects of the meeting, stating that they discussed “building cooperation on trade and combating global threats”. He expressed optimism about the potential achievements through collaboration between the UK and Argentina.

Argentina has long asserted its claim over the Falklands, and Milei has suggested a diplomatic solution similar to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. When asked about progress in resolving the Falklands issue based on this model, Milei mentioned that it has been made an agenda item for ministers Diana Mondino and Lord Cameron to move forward in finding a solution.

The Falkland Islands were the site of a bloody conflict in 1982, claiming the lives of British and Argentinian personnel.

Despite Argentina’s claims, the UK cites the 2013 referendum in which almost 100 percent of Falkland Islanders voted to remain a British Overseas Territory. The distance of about 8,000 miles from Britain and 300 miles from mainland Argentina further complicates the ongoing dispute.

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