The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has reignited the longstanding debate over the Falkland Islands, provoking responses from both the British Prime Minister and the British Foreign Office, who staunchly have defended the islanders right to self-determination.
Kirchner sparked the recent row by publishing a letter in the Guardian which slammed what she called "a blatant exercise of 19th Century colonialism" and called for the restoration of the “territorial integrity” of the Argentine Republic.
British Prime Minister David Cameron responded by saying,
“The future of the Falkland Islands should be determined by the Falkland Islanders themselves - the people who live there… Whenever they have been asked their opinion, they say they want to maintain their current status with the United Kingdom.”
"They're holding a referendum this year and I hope the president of Argentina will listen to that referendum and recognise it is for the Falkland Islanders to choose their future, and as long as they choose to stay with the United Kingdom they have my 100% backing."
The British Foreign Office also responded on Twitter, tweeting,
"The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. They remain free to choose their own futures and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN charter. There are three parties to this debate, not just two, as Argentina likes to pretend. There can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the islanders so wish."
A Foreign Office spokesperson was also quoted by the BBC as having stated,
"Unlike the government of Argentina, the United Kingdom respects the right of our people to determine our own affairs, a right that is enshrined in the UN Charter and which is ignored by Argentina."
"They remain free to choose their own futures, both politically and economically, and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter... This is a fundamental human right for all peoples."
"There are three parties to this debate, not just two as Argentina likes to pretend... The islanders can't just be written out of history."