Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

Sovereignty of Falklands is not up for discussion …UK’s warning to new preside

Javier Milei, a self-described anarcho-capitalist who has been compared to former US president Donald Trump, said during the election campaign “We have to see how we are going to get them back”.

He is proposing diplomatic negotiations rather than another invasion.

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “This is a long-settled issue and there are no plans to revisit it. The position of the Falkland Islands was settled some time ago, and will not be changed.”

Foreign Office officials believe the issue resurfaces whenever the Argentine economy struggles, while local politicians like to make bold declarations during election campaigns.

Inflation is rampant with 40% of the population of the South American country in poverty.

Mr Milei has promised drastic changes such as cutting welfare and slashing bureaucracy by closing ministries including health and education.

He has described Margaret Thatcher as one of the “great leaders in the history of humanity”.

But he also asserted “non-negotiable” sovereignty over the Falklands, known in Argentina as the Malvinas.

He said of the islands in the final TV election debate: “We had a war – that we lost – and now we have to make every effort to recover them through diplomatic channels.”

He proposed a similar solution to the handing over of Hong Kong by the British to China in 1997. Mr Milei told La Nacion: “Now we have to see how we are going to get them back.

“It is clear that the war option is not a solution.

“What we are proposing is to move towards a solution like the one England had with China over the Hong Kong issue and that in this context the position of the people who live on the islands cannot be ignored.

“You cannot deny that those people are there. You cannot disregard those human beings.”

Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord whose frigate HMS Ardent was sunk during the Falklands War, called the latest intervention over the islands’ future from Buenos Aires “terrifying” and “extraordinary”.

He said: “The inhabitants of the Falklands have made it clear on numerous occasions that they are British and that the islands are British. The issue of sovereignty is not for debate.

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“The unpardonable naked aggression of 1982 has not been forgotten and for the Argentine to raise the spectre again when the world is seeing the impact of such actions in Ukraine is extraordinary. The Hong Kong comparison is terrifying.”

The president-elect gained 56% of votes cast, the widest victory margin since Argentina returned to democracy in 1983.

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