No discussion on Falklands sovereignty - Cameron

 
1,178Views 0Comments Posted 19/02/2024

 

Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron said that British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands would "not be up for discussion" ahead of his visit to the South Atlantic on Monday, June 20.

Lord Cameron is the first cabinet minister to travel to the Falklands since 2016, fulfilling a commitment made last year by his predecessor James Cleverly in response to Argentina "flexing" its muscles over the disputed islands which it calls The Maldives.

Argentina has long laid claim to the self-governing British overseas territory, which has been under British sovereignty since 1833.

In 1982 the military junta that ruled Argentina invaded the islands, known in Spanish as "Islas Malvinas", sparking a short but deadly war.

Cameron's visit appears to reaffirm the UK's commitment to the islands, amid a "renewed push from Argentina over the sovereignty of the contested territory", said Politico.

Argentina's new president, Javier Milei, has insisted that his country has "non-negotiable" sovereignty over the islands and suggested that the UK should approach the issue in a similar way to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. "That agreement, however, followed the end of a 99-year lease," said Sky News.

Milei has stressed that war "is not a solution", but critics say he is not known as "El Loco" ("The Madman") for nothing. His government has announced plans to buy fighter jets, submarines, and warships as part of a tripling of its defense budget by 2032, to make the armed forces "fundamental institutions of the country".

At the same time, there is "heightened concern" in the UK over the Falklands' security, said The Telegraph, after reporting that the Royal Navy has abandoned major warship patrols because of ship shortages. Admiral Lord Alan West, who was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the Falklands War, told the paper that an invasion of the islands was still "highly unlikely at the moment", but that "sufficient defense assets" were needed should anyone do anything "stupid".