Britain has sent a delegation to the Falkland Islands to reaffirm its “right of self-determination” after the President of Argentina vowed to cease control of the overseas territory.
David Rutley visited the Islands to reinforce Britain’s support for the Falklands following threats from Javier Milei who claimed that the UK returning the Falkland Islands to Argentina was “non-negotiable”.
The MP said the Islands are an “important part of the British family” during his visit on Thursday.
Governor Alison Blake greeted the foreign office minister before he attended a community youth reception.
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Rutley said:“During my visit to the Falkland Islands, I will reiterate that the UK stands firmly behind the Falkland Islanders’ rights of self-determination, as an important part of the British family.
“The Falkland Islands has a flourishing economy and is making great strides in the fight against climate change, which I look forward to learning about first-hand.”
Milei – who won Argentina’s presidential election earlier this month – said the Falkland Islands are part of his country’s territory.
He called for an agreement similar to the one the UK had with China in Hong Kong, which saw the territory handed over Chinese control after 1997.
In his victory speech, Milei promised that the “reconstruction of Argentina begins today”.
He said: “The Malvinas are Argentine. Now we have to see how we are going to get them back.
“It is clear that the war option is not a solution.”
Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson has ruled out any movement on the issue.
“It’s obviously a settled issue, a long-settled issue, and we have no plans to revisit it,” the spokesman said.
Pressed on the suggestion of an agreement similar to that reached over Honk Kong, the official added: “The position of the Falkland islands was settled some time ago and will not be changed.”
A 2013 referendum in the Falklands saw 99.8 per cent of people vote to remain part of the UK.
The Falklands are about 8,000 miles from Britain and 300 miles from mainland Argentina.
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