Argentina astonishingly claims Falkland Islands residents may ‘prefer to be Argentinians’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul1,2024

Buenos Aires sensationally claimed the residents of the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory, may end up desiring to become Argentines.

Argentina and the UK clashed once again on the issue of the sovereignty of the Falklands during the latest General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS), held last week in Paraguay.

In her statement, Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino stressed once again the question of the archipelago’s international status is a “key issue for all Argentines”, and is even enshrined in the country’s Constitution.

Hinting no political leader in Argentina will ever give up the claim, she said: “It is, therefore, an objective that transcends governments and constitutes a true state policy, in which all the political forces of my country agree.”

In a remark likely to stir up upset on the archipelago and in Britain, Ms Mondino also claimed Argentina is improving at such an impressive rate that the Falkland Islanders may eventually want Buenos Aires to win its sovereignty claim. 

She claimed: “At the rate of improvement in Argentina, at the rate at which we are respecting the freedom of our citizens… perhaps, if there were a right to self-determination, which there isn’t, the islanders would prefer to be Argentinians.”

This comment was made six months into the government of self-proclaimed “anarcho-capitalist” President Javier Milei, who won the election after pledging to heal the Argentine economy.

In late June, following months of debate, the Argentine Parliament approved Mr Milei’s first economic reform package, which he hailed as “the greatest fiscal adjustment not only in Argentine history but in the history of humanity”. 

The austerity programme aims at achieving “zero budget deficit” by the end of the year, in a bid to tame the country’s spiralling inflation.

Ms Mondino’s remarks were countered by the British FCDO Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon.

In his statement on the Falklands, Lord Ahmad recalled people living on the archipelago clearly stated in a referendum held in March 2013 their desire to retain their current political status as a British Overseas Territory.

While stating both Buenos Aires and London want to create more cooperation on “areas of shared interest including trade and education”, he said the disagreement on the future of the Falklands remains.

The British official stressed that Falkland Islanders have a right to self-determination, through which “Falkland Islanders can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”.

Lord Ahmad also explained: “Our resolute support for the Falkland Islanders’ right of self-determination, remains unchanged. Only they should decide their future – and in the referendum they held in 2013, they overwhelmingly chose to retain their status as a self-governing UK Overseas Territory.”

The referendum saw 99.8 percent of voters, on a turnout of 92 percent, choosing to remain a British territory, while only three people voted against it.

Lord Ahmad added: “They saw for themselves the thriving democracy the community has built with their own constitution, laws and traditions. Quite rightly, the elected representatives of the Falkland Islands make the decisions that affect their community.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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