Falklands at risk as Argentina's President lifts lid on talks with Jeremy Corbyn

Falklands at risk as Argentina's President lifts lid on talks with Jeremy Corbyn

THE FALKLAND ISLANDS have been thrust into the political limelight once again after Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez made a revelation that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called him last week as the new leader in Buenos Aires vows to take back the British archipelago.

Fernandez, backed by former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has promised to reclaim the – or Malvinas as they are known in Argentina – as part of his election campaign in which he came out on top with 48 percent of the vote. He told Argentine media: “If Labour wins and Mr becomes the next British Prime Minister, he can be sure I will call him to claim the Malvinas because they are an integral part of Argentina.

“The Malvinas Islands are part of Latin-America, it is a territory which was taken from us.

"It's true that many years ago we lost a war, but that does not end Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas."

The Labour leader reportedly congratulated Fernandez after his election victory which saw embattled ally of the West Mauricio Macri depart after broken promises and further economic turmoil.

Fernandez laid down a concerning statement of intent as the future of the Falkland Islands becomes increasingly precarious amid repetitive verbal threats from Buenos Aires.

Fernandez added: "Be it Corbyn or whoever, I will always claim Argentina's sovereignty over the Malvinas and South Atlantic islands."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also met with a crushing warning when he congratulated Fernandez for his election victory.

Downing Street's official Twitter said on October 29: “Congratulations to Alberto Fernandez on winning Argentina’s presidential election. We look forward to working with your new government to continue to strengthen the UK-Argentina relationship – PM Boris Johnson."

But the Argentine President elect replied: "Thanks to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the greeting. Without giving up our claim of sovereignty, we must work together to strengthen the ties between the Argentine and British people, who share much more than we imagine."

The incoming Peronist leader has issued numerous warnings that he will aim to take the Islands back, but currently the Argentine constitution makes this very difficult to achieve.

Amended in 1994, it suggests that Argentina can never take the islands by force.

The document instructs the nation’s government that any “recovery” of the territories must be done within the realms of international law.

It reads: “The Argentine Nation ratifies its legitimate and non-prescribing sovereignty over the Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur Islands and over the corresponding maritime and insular zones, as they are an integral part of the National territory.

“The recovery of said territories and the full exercise of sovereignty, respectful of the way of life of their inhabitants and according to the principles of international law, are a permanent and unrelinquished goal of the Argentine people.”

This leaves only political routes to Islands reclamation, but that has not dampened Fernandez' rhetoric just yet.

In April 1982, Argentine troops invaded the islands, but capitulated 74 days later to the British forces, with the death toll as a result of the war a devastating 649 – of which 255 soldiers were from the UK.

After the conflict between the UK and Argentina over the territory, a referendum was held in 2013 that saw 99.8 percent of Falklands residents vote to remain under British rule.

www.prensa.cancilleria.gob.ar es un sitio web oficial del Gobierno Argentino