Connect to share and comment

Vote shows 'weakness' of Britain's Falkland claim : envoy

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Argentina on Tuesday dismissed a two-day long vote in the Falklands as a "ploy" by Great Britain meant to mask the "weakness" London's claim to the islands.

The remarks by Argentina's ambassador to Britain, Alicia Castro, to local radio here came a day after residents of the Falkland Islands voted almost unanimously to remain a self-governed British overseas territory.

Castro, who has been Buenos Aires' main point person on the Falklands vote, told the FM Millenium radio station that the referendum, held Sunday and Monday, was a "media-focused ploy that reflects the weakness" of Britain's claim to the islands.

On Monday, speaking to a different Argentine radio station, Castro said the vote had no legitimacy, having been "neither convened nor supervised by the United Nations."

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday called on Argentina to "take careful note" of the wishes of the Falkland Islanders after the vote.

Official results showed 99.8 percent of the 1,672 eligible voters in the Falklands -- known in Spanish as the Malvinas -- voted "yes" to keeping the current status, with a 92 percent turnout.

Only three of the 1,517 valid ballots cast were against the current status.

The islanders organized the vote in response to increasingly vocal demands by Argentine President Cristina Kirchner for respect for its claim to the remote South Atlantic archipelago.

Argentina and Britain fought a brief but bloody war over the islands in 1982 after they were invaded by Argentine forces.

A British naval task force launched an amphibious assault to recoup the islands, but the conflict came at a cost of 649 Argentine and 255 British lives.

Tensions have flared anew in recent years as Britain opened the islands' waters to oil exploration.

ol/sg/jm

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130312/vote-shows-weakness-britains-falkland-claim-envoy