Anti-riot police stand in front of the British Embassy
during a protest of Argentine Falklands War veterans in
Buenos Aires. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez called
for talks with Britain over the disputed Falkland Islands
in an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron published
in British newspapers. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Britain has rejected calls from Argentine President
Cristina Fernandez for talks over the disputed Falkland Islands
after she wrote an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Britain and Argentina fought a 10-week war in 1982 over the
remote South Atlantic islands, which are part of Britain's
self-governing overseas territories and are known in
Argentina as Las Malvinas.
Fernandez has marked the 30th anniversary of the conflict
with a sustained diplomatic campaign to assert Argentina's
sovereignty claim, whose significance has been raised by oil
exploration in the waters around the islands.
In her letter, published in British newspapers, Fernandez
accused Britain of breaching United Nations resolutions
urging the two countries to negotiate a solution to the
"The question of the Malvinas Islands is also a cause
embraced by Latin America and by a vast majority of peoples
and governments around the world that reject colonialism,"
Cameron rejected her call for negotiations, sticking to
London's stance that the approximately 3,000 people of the
Falkland Islands had chosen to be British.
"The future of the Falkland Islands should be determined by
the Falkland Islanders themselves," he said. "Whenever they
have been asked their opinion they have said they want to
maintain their current status with the United Kingdom."
The islanders are expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour
of the existing arrangement in a referendum this year.
"I hope the president of Argentina will listen to that
referendum and recognise it is for the Falkland Islanders to
choose their future," Cameron said.
"As long as they choose to stay with the United Kingdom, they
have my 100 percent backing," he added.
Fernandez said her open letter was timed to coincide with the
180th anniversary of the day when Argentina was "forcibly
stripped" of the islands in what she called a "blatant
exercise of 19th century colonialism".
Noting that the islands are 14,000km from London, Fernandez
accused Britain of expelling Argentines from the territory
and carrying out a "population implantation process".
Britain disputes this, saying no civilian population was
expelled from the Falklands on or after January 3, 1833.