Falklands: Former Argentine senator calls for fresh talks with UK

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President Alberto Fernandez, speaking on Friday, pushed the Argentine claim to the British Overseas Territory ahead of the fortieth anniversary of the Falklands War next year. In the 1982 war, Britain claimed the Falkland Islands, which are known as the Islas Malvinas in Argentina.

President Fernandez, far from mincing his words, said: “The Malvinas were, are, and will be Argentine.”

He added: “We will fight until they are ours again.”

Addressing the crowd gathered at the San Martin Palace, which serves as the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, Mr Fernandez said: “Argentines have to understand the dimension of our homeland, and in that map, the Malvinas are included, because they were, are and will be Argentine.”

He added: “Despite what some people may think, there is no doubt about the right we have over these lands.”

He continued: “Some people minimise the importance of these lands because they see them so far away that they even dare to say that we should pay for vaccines by handing over the islands.

“We are not going to trade the Malvinas neither for vaccines nor for debt – we are going to fight until they become Argentine again.”

He remarked: “When we talk about sovereignty, we always end up talking about Malvinas.

“We are going to continue working through diplomatic channels trying to convince the world about our rights over that land.”

“We have a duty to the memory of each of the families of the former combatants.”

He finished: “May no one ever steal our love for Malvinas, may no one ever take away the right we have over that land.”

His rhetoric echoes that of recent speeches made by Argentine foreign minister, Santiago Cafiero.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Christopher Sabatini, Senior Research Fellow for Latin America, US and the Americas Programme at Chatham House, explained: “The Falklands issue for Argentina remains an exceedingly central one.”

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He detailed that the memory of the Falklands War of 1982, and the cultural impact it has had, is vastly different in Argentina compared to how it is perceived in the UK.

Dr Sabatini commented: “I’m always struck whenever I go to Argentina.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone from the UK mention it when they talk about Latin America, except in the sense of, ‘well, what are we going to do?’ Whereas in Argentina, they still refer to it.

“They still refer to their heroes from the Falklands War – it is still very much on their minds, whereas for most Brits that I’ve spoken to, it’s a resolved issue.

“It’s not on the table, it’s not up for negotiation, it’s simply something that they can approach in a way that could be addressed in a way without any drama.

“But that’s not the way for Argentina.

“It’s still something very much that’s an issue of stinging pride to the national sovereignty.”

This comes as Leo Docherty, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, revealed: “There are significant plans underway to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Falkland Islands’ campaign.”

The conflict lasted 10 weeks between April and June 1982.

The fighting in these weeks cost the lives of over 900 military personnel.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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