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Spain & Argentina to Unite at the UN over the Falklands and Gibraltar

26 Sep

Argentina and Spain agreed on Thursday to team up to pressure the United Kingdom to discuss their separate claims on British territories: the Falklands in the south Atlantic and Gibraltar near the southern tip of Spain

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, reached the agreement in New York on the sidelines of the General Assembly. The Argentine Foreign Ministry reported that; “They discussed the common ground regarding sovereignty disputes over the Falklands and Gibraltar; they agreed on joint measures to press Great Britain to comply with the mandate from the United Nations.”

The two countries have a long history of solidarity over Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

In the recent spat between London and Madrid over the rocky Mediterranean outpost that Spain ceded to Britain 300 years ago, London rejected a Spanish proposal for bilateral talks on Gibraltar. Britain says it will respect the wishes of Gibraltar’s 30,000 people, who have repeatedly stated they want to remain British.

Similarly, the British Government has long maintained that it will not discuss sovereignty over the Falklands, first claimed by Britain in 1690, without taking into account the islanders’ wishes. A recent referendum in the archipelago confirmed, by an overwhelming majority, that the Islanders’ wished to remain British. Argentina has previously made two attempts to seize the islands by force – in 1832 and 1982; in both cases British forces ejected the invaders.

Gibraltar and the Falklands are on a UN list of non-self-governing territories that are subject to a process of decolonization; and the UN in its Resolution 1514 of 1960 recognises that all peoples are entitled to the right to determine their own futures. There are currently no ‘relevant’ UN Resolutions on the issue of the Falklands as confirmed by the Secretary-General in an interview last year.


Pope will not support Argentina over the Falklands

24 Mar

The new Pope will not support Argentina’s claim in its dispute with the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands.

Last week Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, met with Pope Francis following his election and asked that he use his good offices to persuade the UK to negotiate over the archipelago’s sovereignty. The Pope’s reply at that time is unknown, but the Vatican has now confirmed that the Pope will not get involved. pope_francis

On Sunday, Nigel Baker, the UK ambassador to the Holy See, said he had received assurances from Vatican officials that the Vatican’s policy of non-intervention remained unchanged. “Following Mrs Kirchner’s visit to the Pope and her decision to use it as a platform, I thought it worth talking to Vatican officials to see if the Vatican would respond to the request for mediation,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“They reminded me of the Vatican’s long-held position that this is a matter for sovereign states. There was no sense of them following through on Mrs Kirchner’s request, and there was a confirmation that their position had not changed.”

Pope Francis is Argentine by birth and as recently as last year was known to support his Government’s claim to Britain’s South Atlantic islands. The UK’s Government maintains that it has no doubts about its sovereignty over the Falklands and has declined any talks on the subject since Argentina’s failed invasion of 1982.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, drew criticism from Argentina when he compared the recent referendum on the Islands, to the “puff of white smoke” that heralded the new Pope’s election.

Britain’s claim to the Falkland Island goes back to 1765, long before what is now Argentina sought its independence from Spain.

Falklands Referendum 10-11 March 2013

18 Jan

The Falkland Islands Government has announced the date on which its referendum will be held, in order to enable the islanders to express their view on the political status of the island. Stanley

According to a press release, the Executive Council has agreed that the Referendum would be held over two days, 10-11 March, “giving everyone the maximum opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

It adds that “..the current political status of the Falkland Islands is that they are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.  The Islands are internally self-governing, with the United Kingdom being responsible for matters including defence and foreign affairs. The people of the islands have the right to self-determination, which they can exercise at any time. Given that Argentina is calling for negotiations over the sovereignty this referendum is being undertaken to consult the people regarding their views on the political status of the Falkland Islands.”

The March referendum will ask islanders: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom? YES or NO.”

The Falkland Islands have been British since being claimed in 1765, although Spain maintained a claim to the eastern of the two main islands until 1863. Argentina was once part of the Spanish colony known as the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata which Argentina believes itself to have inherited on its independence. Whilst the Falkland Islands were never a part of that Spanish colony, the Argentines assert that they were ‘dependent’ upon the Viceroyalty and should therefore have fallen to them when Spain withdrew.

The British Government has never expressed any doubt that the sovereignty of the Falklands archipelago belongs to the United Kingdom. The Islanders’ right to self-determination is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations signed by both the UK and Argentina in 1945. Argentine refuses to recognise this right.

The Sun burns in Buenos Aires

5 Jan

Following demonstrations in Buenos Aires where copies of The Sun newspaper were burnt; a group of the islanders, called Falklands United, responded to a letter by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner published in The Guardian and Independent newspapers in Britain, in which she called for the UK to give up the Falklands. 112
They wrote: “Our home is a British Overseas Territory, not a colony as you seemingly wish to convince people. We have never been prouder of our association with the United Kingdom and our unique relationship. Any decision to change that would be OUR and not YOUR choice. In 1982 we didn’t have a voice. In 2013 we do. We are OUR own people and we have a right to OUR own democracy and to where OUR sovereignty lies.”

An advertisement in The Buenos Aires Herald, paid for by The Sun, was a refutation of Argentina’s claim to the British archipelago; pointing out that the British claim to the Islands went back to 1765. Argentina only declared itself independent of the Spanish Crown in 1816. Argentina also claims that Britain ‘usurped’ their sovereignty by ejecting an Argentine settlement in 1833. In reality this was a ‘police’ action to expel an illegal garrison from Buenos Aires that had arrived in the Islands some two months before. Argentina had been warned by the British Government in 1829, that the Falklands were British and Buenos Aires should stay away. Argentina again tried to take the Falklands by force in 1982 leading to the Falklands War.

The Falklands’ Question

1 Nov

The peoples of the Falkland Islands are being consulted on the appropriate question to be asked in next years referendum on the status of the South Atlantic archipelago.

The consultation document states; ” The current political status of the Falkland Islands is that they are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. The Islands are internally self-governing, with the United Kingdom being responsible for matters including defence and foreign affairs. Under the Falkland Islands Constitution the people of the Falkland Islands have the right to self-determination, which they can exercise at any time. Given that Argentina is calling for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, this referendum is being undertaken to consult the people regarding their views on the political status of the Falkland Islands. Should the majority of votes cast be against the current status, the Falkland Islands Government will undertake necessary consultation and preparatory work in order to conduct a further referendum on alternative options.

“Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”

The consultation period lasts until November 21st and a number of Public Meetings are being proposed to debate the issue.

The Falkland Islands have been British since 1765. Argentina claims to have a right to the islands ‘inherited’ from the Spanish in 1816 when they declared their independence. Argentina was warned about its pretensions in a diplomatic note in November 1829 but attempted to seize the Falklands by force in 1832. They also attempted the same in 1982. On both occasions the Argentine force was expelled.

Britain will defend the Falkland Islands from Argentine aggression

27 May

Reported in This Is Plymouth:

Britain will defend the Falkland Islands from Argentine aggression “come what may”, as long as the islanders want to be defended, a senior Conservative MP has vowed. Speaking in Plymouth last night James Arbuthnot, chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, denied claims by President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina that Britain was behaving as a colonial power; “If anything, that accusation can be levelled at her.”

Mr Arbuthnot was guest of honour at a dinner at the Royal Marines Barracks, Stonehouse, where Falklands War veterans gathered to commemorate the 30th anniversary this week of the landings at San Carlos Bay. A British Task Force, which had sailed south earlier in 1982 to reclaim the islands after an Argentine invasion, started to put troops ashore on May 21.

General Thompson said it was important to celebrate the anniversary because that kept the islands in the public eye. In 1982 many of the public did not know anything about the Falklands: “The Argentinians are getting a bit difficult but I think the islands are pretty safe. The garrison on the islands is much bigger than it was in 1982, and our forces are now very experienced.”

The Falkland Islands have been claimed by Britain since 1765, although Spain staked a claim the following year. Argentina believes that it inherited the Spanish claim on its independence in 1816, ignoring the fact that Spain maintained its own claim till 1863. British forces ejected a trespassing garrison from Buenos Aires in January 1833. Argentina tried again in 1982 leading to the short Falklands War.

The Falkland Islanders now have a right to determine their own future under the United Nations. Todate they have chosen to remain a British Overseas Territory.

José Mujica claims the Falklands for Uruguay

26 May

José Mujica, the President of Uruguay, yesterday reaffirmed his country’s support for Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands but not to the detriment of the Islanders themselves. Speaking at a celebration of Argentina’s May ‘Revolution’ he referred to South America’s common traditions and language, but added; “We must be together, not to crush anyone, not to crush the Falkland Islands people, but to rebuild ..”

He also joked that the Falklands, from an historical perspective, could be; ” .. a little bit Uruguayan”

On the same day the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the National Memorial in Staffordshire and paid tribute to those who died in the Falklands War in 1982; “I wish I could have been here at the weekend when the commemoration was opened but I was at the NATO summit in America. I wanted to come as soon as I could because I think the National Memorial Arboretum is an excellent place to remember those who fell in various conflicts. Obviously on the 30th anniversary of the successful liberation of the Falklands it’s right to remember the 255 people who gave their lives so that the people of the Falkland Islands could live in peace and in freedom.”

Referring to the current situation in the South Atlantic, the Prime Minister added; “They have this guarantee – that as long as the people of the Falkland Islands want to continue with their current status as a British Overseas Territory, then they will be able to do so. We will back them, we will support them, we will defend them. We have the Falkland Islands properly defended for a very simple reason – we believe in self-determination, the right of people in the Falkland Islands to determine their future. I think it’s important on this, the 30th anniversary, to reaffirm that and to tell people in the Falkland Islands they have our backing, they have our support”

The Falkland Islands have been British since 1765. In May 1810 the Spanish provinces of the Rio de la Plata declared for King Ferdinand VII but refused to accept the authority of the Spanish Government appointed by Napoleon. Spain’s controlling body, the Viceroyalty, moved to Montevideo as a result and the Spanish claim to East Falkland was ruled from there for a short period.

What is now Argentina became independent in 1816, with Uruguay following later.