Falklands issue: ‘Britain and Argentina should have joint sovereignty over islands’

39bcuk argentina falkland islands Falklands issue: ‘Britain and Argentina should have joint sovereignty over islands’

Around 1,600 voters have Sunday and Monday to answer thequestion put to them: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retaintheir current political status as an Overseas Territory of theUnited Kingdom?”The two-day referendum is supported by the British government.Its organizers believe the majority of the 2,841 inhabitants of theFalkland Islands will vote for preserving the status quo, as theydon’t want to be under the control of Argentina.Argentina has already said it would not recognize the results ofthe vote. The Argentinian Embassy in London said in a statement onMarch 8, that the referendum had no legitimacy, characterizing itas ‘a further attempt by the British to manipulate the question ofthe Malvinas Islands.’Earlier in January, Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez deKirchner wrote an open letter, published in the British press, inwhich she called on Britain to hand back the islands and accused itof blatant colonialism.”The Argentines on the Islands were expelled by the RoyalNavy and the United Kingdom subsequently began a populationimplantation process similar to that applied to other territoriesunder colonial rule… Since then, Britain, the colonial power, hasrefused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thuspreventing it from restoring its territorial integrity,” shewrote.In response to that letter PM David Cameron said the UK isprepared to fight to keep the islands British if they are invadedagain.The Falklands archipelago consists of two large islands: EastFalkland (Soledad) and West Falkland (Malvinas Grand), and 200small islands in the south-western part of the Atlantic Ocean. Itis located about 500 kilometers off the coast of Argentina and at adistance of 12,000 kilometers from the UK. The islands are thegateway to the Antarctic, and control an ocean area believed to beextremely resource-rich.“Of course we would, and we have strong defenses in place onthe Falkland Islands,” Cameron told the British media whenasked if the UK was ready to fight.British MP George Galloway does not expect a surprise outcomefrom the Falklands referendum. In an interview with RT, he sharedhis regret that the UK government chose this form of conflictresolution.“The UN has told [Britain] to talk,” Galloway said.“But Britain beating its chest in the echo of its formerimperial past just simply refuses to do it. And that’s unacceptableand endangers our interests in Latin America, which is one of thefew parts of the globe that is economically thrusting ahead. We areprejudicing fatally our interests and our reputation in LatinAmerica by continuing to attempt to hold on to this appendage ofBritish colonial rule.”Galloway said that natural resources recently discovered off theFalklands shore only add fuel to the dispute between the twocountries.The MP offered a different approach to the problem of thedisputed islands:“I’ve argued in the British Parliament that we should do adeal for joint sovereignty now with Argentina, because one day (ifwe don’t) we’ll have to accept the integrity of sovereignty beingin the hands of Argentina.”War between Argentina and Britain over the disputed islandsbegan on April 2, 1982. It lasted for 74 days and ended with thevictory of the British Crown. The armed conflict took the lives of649 Argentine soldiers, 1,188 people were injured. British losseswere 258 killed and 777 wounded. The international communitycurrently views the islands as belonging to the UK.

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Falklands issue: ‘Britain and Argentina should have joint sovereignty over islands’

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