Argentina withdraws from ‘agree to disagree’ pact over Falklands sovereignty

The Government has insisted the Falkland Islands remain British after Argentina walked away from a cooperation pact and demanded new talks over their sovereignty.

Known as the Malvinas in Spanish, the UK-ruled islands were the subject of a short but brutal war after Argentina invaded in 1982. Britain drove out the invading force after dispatching a naval armada.

In 2016, the two sides agreed to disagree about sovereignty but to cooperate on issues such as energy, shipping and fishing, and on identifying the remains of unknown Argentine soldiers killed in battle.

But at G20 talks in New Delhi on Thursday, Santiago Cafiero, the Argentinian foreign minister, informed UK counterpart James Cleverly his government was abandoning the pact.

In a series of tweets, he renewed Argentina’s longstanding demands instead for negotiations about the sovereignty of the islands and pushed for a meeting at the UN in New York.

“The Falkland Islands are British,” Cleverly retorted on Twitter over Cafiero’s thread.

The decision was announced just as Britain’s minister for the Americas, David Rutley, was visiting Buenos Aires for what he called “productive” meetings.

“Argentina has chosen to step away from an agreement that has brought comfort to the families of those who died in the 1982 conflict,” Rutley tweeted, calling the decision “disappointing”.

“Argentina, the UK and the Falklands all benefited from this agreement,” he said.

Both countries last year marked the 40th anniversary of the conflict, which claimed the lives of 649 Argentinian soldiers, 255 British servicemen, and three women who lived on the island.


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