Daily Mail

Minister’s Falklands broadside as Argentina pulls out of pact


FOREIGN Secretary James Cleverly has reit- erated that ‘the Falkland Islands are British’ after Argentina pulled out of a co-operation pact the two nations signed in 2016.

Argentina wants to open talks to discuss sovereignt­y of the islands, which lie off its coast but are a self-governing overseas territory of the UK. Mr Cleverly was informed of the move by his Argentinia­n counterpar­t, Santiago Cafiero, at the G20 summit in India this week.

In the 2016 deal, both sides effectivel­y ‘agreed to disagree’ on the sovereignt­y of the Falklands in favour of trying to ‘improve co-operation on South Atlantic issues of mutual interests’. These include energy, shipping and fishing, and identifyin­g the remains of Argentine soldiers killed in the Falklands War in 1982.

The Argentine government invited the UK to ‘hold a meeting to settle’ the debate at the United Nations in New York.

Mr Cleverly said: ‘The Falkland Islands are British. Islanders have the right to decide their own future – they have chosen to remain a self-governing UK overseas territory.’ A 2013 poll on the islands resulted in a 99.8 per cent vote to remain British.

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