Argentina fires fresh salvo in war of words over Falklands

Buenos Aires quickly went on the offensive after Right-winger Javier Milei was elected president in a landslide victory this week.

The country’s foreign office stated yesterday its renewed claim to the islands it calls the Malvinas, about 300 miles from mainland Argentina, was a “permanent and unwaverable objective”.

Argentina invaded the islands in 1982, before being defeated by a British taskforce sent by then PM Margaret Thatcher.

The war claimed the lives of 255 UK servicemen, three islanders and 649 Argentine troops.

READ MORE: Falklands will always be important to Argentina, says Lt Col Stuart Crawford

Last night Mark Pollard, chairman of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly, said: “It is not unusual in Argentina for a new president and their party to make commitments in relation to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. We, the democratically elected members, are very clear discussions on our sovereignty are non-negotiable.

“We exercised our right to self-determination 10 years ago where 99.8% voted to retain our status as a United Kingdom Overseas Territory, in which there was a 92% turnout.”

Meanwhile, Mr Milei, 53 – who reportedly uses a medium to communicate with his dead dog for advice on political matters – told a TV election debate: “What do I propose? Argentina’s sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands is non-negotiable. The Malvinas are Argentine.”

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But he added: “We had a war, that we lost, and now we have to make every effort to recover the islands through diplomatic channels.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said Royal Navy ship HMS Forth had been sent back to “protect the islands”, 8,000 miles from Britain, after a nine-month stint by HMS Medway.

The Government said it “will continue to proactively defend the Falkland islanders’ right to self-determination”.

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