Bloomberg News

Cameron Dismisses Argentina’s Falklands Complaint to UN

February 09, 2012

(Updates with Cameron quotes starting in third paragraph.)

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister David Cameron said no one should doubt his determination to keep the Falkland Islands British as he dismissed an Argentinian complaint to the United Nations.

The people of the Falkland Islands want to stay British and the U.K. will defend the territory “properly” to make sure they do so, Cameron told reporters in Stockholm today.

“Argentina will find when she goes to the United Nations that it is an absolutely key part of the United Nations Charter to support self determination,” Cameron said. “‘What we’ve said is absolutely clear and right under the United Nations, as long as the people of the Falkland Islands want to retain that status, we will make sure that they do.”

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s president, said Feb. 7 that she will lodge a complaint with the UN Security Council over the U.K.’s “militarization” of the southern Atlantic Ocean around the islands. The move came after Britain decided to send one of its newest destroyers, HMS Dauntless, to the islands to replace an older ship and deploy Prince William, a military helicopter pilot, to the region.

“We will defend the Falkland Islands properly,” Cameron said. “I think that is very simply put, very straightforward and shouldn’t leave anybody in any doubt about our support for the Falkland islands, for their people and for the status they themselves want to maintain.”

Rising Tensions

Tensions between Britain and Argentina are rising as the 30th anniversary approaches of the war between the countries over the South Atlantic archipelago. The dispute has been inflamed by British plans to search for oil around the Falklands, located about 480 kilometers (280 miles) from the South American mainland.

Argentina has said William, the second in line to the British throne, was going to the islands, which it calls the Malvinas, as a “conqueror.” Cameron told lawmakers on Jan. 18 that Argentina’s behavior toward the islands is “like colonialism.”

Argentine military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri ordered the invasion of the Malvinas, as the Falklands are known in Argentina, on April 2, 1982. Argentine troops were defeated by British forces on June 14 that year. The war bolstered the government of U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, known as “The Iron Lady,” and helped her win re-election in 1983.

--Editors: Andrew Atkinson, Eddie Buckle

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Eddie Buckle at ebuckle@bloomberg.net


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