On the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falkland Islands war between Britain and Argentina, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called again for sovereignty talks to determine who controls the oil-rich archipelago.
In a speech to war veterans in Patagonia, the Wall Street Journal reported, Kirchner said, “It’s an injustice that in the 21st century, colonial enclaves like the one we've got a few kilometers away continue to exist.”
"We're not demanding anything more than that – dialogue between both countries to discuss the sovereignty issue, respecting the interests of the islanders," she said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, leftist groups protested at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, throwing petrol bombs and rocks at police who fired on them with tear gas, Reuters reported.
Britain has controlled the Falklands since 1833, but Argentina claims Spain gave it rights to the Falklands, which it calls "Las Malvinas," the Guardian reported.
On April 2, 1982, the military government that ruled Argentina invaded the Falklands, according to the Wall Street Journal. Then-British Prime Minister Margaret immediately sent British troops to reclaim the islands. The 10-week war killed about 650 Argentine and 255 British troops, according to Reuters.
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The British government’s position is that it will only attend sovereignty negotiations at the request of Falkland islanders, and that request hasn’t been made, Reuters reported.
"Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement today, the Guardian reported. “That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago, and that is the principle which we solemnly reaffirm today."
At the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, UK, the widow of a 20-year-old British seaman who died in the conflict lit a flame that will burn for 74 days – the length of the war – in a remembrance ceremony attended by Falklands veterans and widows.
Sara Jones, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel "H" Jones, commanding officer of 2 Para, killed during the battle of Goose Green and awarded the Victoria Cross, told the Guardian: "The islanders have always been fiercely British and want to stay that way. I would like to believe that we would, if we could, do it again" if Argentina invaded the Falklands again.
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