No debate over Falkland Islands, Lord Cameron says ahead of visit

  • Written by Andre Roden-Paul
  • BBC News

Lord Cameron said sovereignty over the Falkland Islands would not be up for discussion as long as they wanted to remain a British territory.

The Foreign Minister is preparing to make the first visit by a minister to the islands since 2016.

Last month, Argentine President Javier Miley called for the handover of the islands in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The visit comes before a summit of foreign ministers of the G20 countries, which includes Argentina and the United Kingdom.

Lord Cameron reiterated the UK government's longstanding position that the sovereignty of the islands is non-negotiable while their residents want them to be British.

Speaking before the trip, he said: “The Falkland Islands are an important part of the British family, and we are clear that as long as they want to remain part of the family, the issue of sovereignty will not be up for discussion.”

“The people of the Falkland Islands should be proud of the modern and prosperous society they have built.”

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The Falkand Islands are located 300 miles off the coast of Argentina

The Foreign Minister's visit comes against the backdrop of continued calls by Argentina to hand over the autonomous territories to Buenos Aires.

After meeting with President Miley last month, who believes his country has non-negotiable sovereignty over the islands that Argentina calls Islas Malvinas, the Foreign Ministry said “they will agree to disagree, and they will do so politely.”

The islands, 8,000 miles from the UK and 300 miles from the coast of Argentina, were the subject of a war in 1982 that claimed the lives of 255 British soldiers, three islanders and 649 Argentine personnel.

Miley had previously proposed handing over power similar to what happened in Hong Kong and stressed that war was “not a solution.”

During his visit, Lord Cameron is expected to pay his respects to those who lost their lives during the conflict, meet Falkland Islands government leaders on a visit to the capital, Stanley, and also pay tribute to the penguins on the islands.

The last minister to visit the islands was then Defense Secretary Michael Fallon in 2016.

Lord Cameron is scheduled to visit Paraguay, the first time a British foreign minister has visited the South American country.

He will then attend a meeting of G20 countries – including Russian President Sergei Lavrov – in Brazil on Wednesday.

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