Britain has reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands after Argentina withdrew from a cooperation agreement and demanded new talks on the South Atlantic region that caused the war between the two countries in 1982.
The statement came after Argentine foreign minister Santiago Cafiero said on Twitter that he had informed British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly of his country’s decision when the two met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in India last week.
“British Falkland Islands,” Cleverly tweeted late Friday night. “Islands have the right to decide their own future – they have chosen to remain a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom.”
Earlier, Cafiero said that he Cleverly told that Argentina had decided to withdraw from a 2016 agreement in which the two countries promised to work together on various issues. While that agreement aimed to improve cooperation in the South Atlantic, both sides continued to assert sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, known as the Malvinas Islands in Argentina.
Cafiero also said he proposed new talks in line with a 1965 United Nations General Assembly resolution encouraging Britain and Argentina to find a peaceful solution to the dispute over the islands.
Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the islands, which lie about 300 miles from South America and are home to about 3,500 people.
Argentina says the islands were illegally taken from them in 1833. Britain, which says its territorial claim dates back to 1765, sent a warship to the islands in 1833 to expel Argentine troops trying to assert sovereignty over the area.