Argentina ready to ramp up claim to Falkland Islands ‘Fight to defend!’

Argentina ready to ramp up claim to Falkland Islands ‘Fight to defend!’

ARGENTINA has demanded an “active presence” in the Falkland Islands with Buenos Aires appearing ready to ramp up a claim to it - 38 years after Britain went to war with the South American nation over the territory.

Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic secretary Daniel Filmus expressed his anger that Argentina’s quest for the Falklands diminished before adding more aggression was needed from Argentina to win the land from the UK. He told a conference given at the headquarters of the Federation of University Teachers (FADUN) that "the intensity of the claim for sovereignty decreased greatly”. He then said Argentina “needs a very active presence to claim the start of negotiations” with the UK over the sovereignty of the archipelago.

He added: “We believe that the Malvinas issue should be a mandatory issue in all disciplines.

“It is linked to foreign policy, but also to legal issues, fishing, energy, and a whole set of aspects that our universities must consider.”

He said that “the fight to defend natural resources such as hydrocarbons, fisheries, biodiversity and mining was put aside”.

He added: “A good part of our university graduates must leave not only with knowledge of the Antarctic and the Argentine sovereignty over the Falklands, but we must also generate new knowledge on all these issues.”

The war over the Falkland Islands took place in 1982.

Up to 255 British servicemen were killed and 650 Argentine soldiers.

Argentine forces invaded the Falklands – known in Spanish as Islas Malvinas – and so Margaret Thatcher led British military to defend the British Overseas Territory.

Britain won, but tensions have remained over the Islands’s sovereignty ever since.

Commentators fear the newly elected President, Alberto Fernandez, and his Vice-President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (a former President herself), will act on their electoral promise to renew claims over the islands.

However, a deal was once almost struck between the UK and Argentina to share the archipelago according to an unearthed article.

Writing in The Telegraph in March 2012, Barney Henderson revealed: “The deal was accepted in 1974 by President Juan Domingo Peron with ‘euphoria’ but was never conclude because he died three weeks after the offer was made.”

Mr Peron was the founder of the Peronism movement, which both Mr Fernandez and Ms Fernandez de Kirchner are keen followers of.

The document itself was seen by the Argentina newspaper La Nacion, and was a “non-official document” from the British Foreign Office, relied in an attempt to settle the dispute.

The document explained: “The British and Argentine flags would fly side by side and the official languages would be English and Spanish. All ‘belongers’ of the island would possess dual nationality.

“Before final agreement, the Islands would have to be formally consulted and their acceptance sought by some form of popular representation.

“On this basis, Her Majesty’s Government propose that, if the Argentine Government agree, official or preliminary official talks should take place in Buenos Aires as soon as possible.”

The British ambassador to Argentina James Hutton gave the unofficial note to the Argentine foreign minister Alberto Vignes at a meeting in June 1974.

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