May 14th, 2010
09:37 PM ET

Argentine president to British PM: Can we talk Falklands?

Memo from Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to new British Prime Minister David Cameron: Congrats on your appointment, now can we discuss the Falklands?

Three days after Cameron was declared the new head of British government, Argentina's president has written him with a request for renewed talks over the disputed Falkland Islands, Argentina's official Telam news agency reported Friday.

Kirchner's letter expressed a "desire of the Argentine government to resume the delayed process of negotiation over the sovereignty" of the islands in accordance with U.N. resolutions, Telam said.

Kirchner also vented Argentine opposition to recent British oil drilling near the Falklands, which Argentina has always claimed to own.

Argentina "has rejected" Britain's recent "hydrocarbon exploration activities ... in a unilateral manner in the disputed area" of the islands, her letter said.

The islands sit off Argentina's coast but have been under British rule since 1833. Argentina invaded the Falklands in 1982, prompting a war in which more than 600 Argentinean and 255 British military personnel died.

Britain keeps a military presence on the islands, and the Falkland Islands government - representing a population of about 2,500 - says it remains committed to British sovereignty.

The dispute was rekindled in February after a British oil rig started drilling in the North Falkland Basin, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of the islands.

Referring to the drilling in her letter, Kirchner wrote that she hopes to have "the possibility to stop these actions in favor of fruitful cooperation," Telam reported.

Cameron was appointed prime minister Tuesday, after the resignation of Gordon Brown of the Labour Party. Cameron's Conservative Party has entered a coalition with the Liberal Democrats in hope of forming a majority government. No party received a majority in Britain's election last Thursday.

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Filed under: Argentina • David Cameron • Falkland Islands • United Kingdom
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. EP

    I think everyone is forgetting that Argentina was suffering at the hands of one of the most brutal military juntas in world history. This military dictatorship lead by general Galtieri ( the leading general of the military junta ) ordered the deaths and torture of many many innocent young argentines.
    The military ordered the invasion of the Falklands in order to distract attnetion from the brutality of the un-popular military regime lead by Galtieri. They basicallysacrificied the lives of 600 innocent poorly trained young argentine men, just to ensure the survival of their own regime. The military govt knew that they could not win a military conflict with the british, but simply were convinced that the british would not fight back and would just cede sovereignity to the islands. Unfortunately for them and the Argentine people ...they were sorely mistaken. If the Argentines in my opinion want to lay some blame...it should really be placed on the bloody hands of the generals during the junta. The reason why Las Malvinas are not a part of Argentina is due to them. myabe if it wasnt for the invasion Britain and Arg could have come to some kind of agreement?
    I am in favor or returning the islands back to Arg, and offering the falklanders not only british, but argentine soverignity as well. Allow them to form a provincial govt and have representation ( in english or spanish ) in Buenos Aires. But at the same time allowing them to have EU and British citizenship. I am afraid a compromise of this kind is the only solution. As an american citizen living and working in Argentina and married to a beautiful argentine wife, I can say that the majority of Argentines are very kind, and loving affectionate people...very lively and enjoy being the center of attention...there is never a dull moment with an Argentine...its a beautiful country and more peopleshould come and visit 🙂

    May 15, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kristus

    There will be no taking the Falklands, because it's people choose to remain part of the Commonwealth, you cannot break the will of the people who live there.

    The south american nations back Argentina with words only, they will not get involved, especially not militarily as Brtain now has treaties (since 1982) that state that anyone attacks Brittish terriotories, America and Europe are compelled to assist.

    So any action against the Falklands is the same as attacking America and Europe, suicide 🙂

    May 15, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. john

    Gotta love Britain. I am an American, but the fact is Britain founded America, and I thank you for it... now if we can all just get along... : ) A shout out to Spain there too, you got your butt's kicked in the US but your descendants are slowly sneaking back in...and I love the cuisine.

    May 15, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Deano

    "Give the Falklands back to the Argentinians just like how you gave back HK to the Chinese. Britain's days of imperialism are over. Its time to right your wrongs.
    Posted by: Euge Kayote"

    And while we are at it, why not give the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world back to its Indigenous people?

    What a stupid statement to make, did you think this one through before posting it?

    May 15, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jack

    Give Falklands to the Jew and Isreal back to Palestine. The world will be at peace! Anyway, the French explorers were the first one to discover the islands (Mauvine)

    May 15, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Crispy Clean

    ARGENTINA! The most soccer gifted nation on earth.,can't wait to see Argentine sensation Lionel Messi razzle and dazzle at the World Cup South Africa 2010(Starts in June)...a tiny nation in europe(England)owns an island far off,wow!when you mention the word COLONIALSISTS and OPPRESSORS England spring to mind,Falk Island belongs to the British?its like Russia saying Puerto Rico belongs to them.It's a BIG shame..you should see them purpoting to be defenders of mankind,the chosen lot!..we'll see in the end,nothing lasts forever!

    May 15, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Salzman

      So we opress the poor Falklanders, Groaning under the Yoke of evil British colonialism...? Er, no. The opression would be by Argentina on the Falklanders should they try to impose their corrupt governance on them.

      May 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hal Pittaway

    Give the Falklands back to the American natives that came from Asia {maybe chinese} across the barring straits.
    Give the oil to Madagascar, move the Israelis to Madagascar and give the west bank to the I.R.A.,. Send the folks in Madagascar to Mecca and for God sakes move the U.N to Hong Kong.
    Oh and send the politicians in Argentina to Antarctica to search for BP oil that can help warm our climate so the glaciers can melt faster. Did I forget anyone?
    Oh yes Tell China & Russia that the moon belongs to the good ole U.S.A.
    ha ha ha ha ha we were there 1st!
    sincerely
    ex British subject by blood and ex Catholic by reason...

    May 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. is

    England may have a strong military, but Argentina has a better soccer team, like always Argentina is going to kick England's butt in the World Cup

    May 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jacob

    Argentina's claim is weak. If we are going to start changing borders, then lets changed all the borders in South America back to those which were present in the 19th century. Im sure Bolivia would love to have its coastline back.

    May 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. clyde allen

    this is like gibralter.spain lost it in war.people are british and desire to remain so.vote after vote says so.

    May 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jacob

    By the way Argentina, Paraguay would love to have its territory back along with the countless people that were killed in the War of the Triple Alliance.

    May 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MIKI

    who really cares now.?? the falklands are just too far from anywhere.

    May 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David McCann

    The Falklands don't belong to Britain or to Argentina: they belong to their inhabitants. Those inhabitants have the right to choose their nationality and government:
    'No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality' (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 15.2).
    'The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government' (UDHR, 21.3)

    The problem with Argentina is their belief in a nation existing as something over and above its citizens, which in some way owns them. It is this concept that drives their demand for the Falklands, and has led to their own history being a series of dictators and disasters.

    May 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jesse

    The people of the Falklands want the British to rule the island. So to say give it back doesn't make sense. The will of the people is the UK over Argentina. Just like other islands in the Caribbean they enjoy the benefits of the commonwealth and know that Argentina has had quite the oppressive rule over the years. Its important to say once again the PEOPLE of the Falklands almost unanimously want British rule over Argentinian.

    May 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. desert voice

    In politics, like in almost everything under the sun, all agreements can be reduced to money and power. In this instance, oil is "money" and sovereignty is "power." The Argentinians want power and the British want money. For this reason, oddly, perhaps there is some room for agreement because of the drilling. One way this could be resolved is as follows: the British get a long-term right to oil and the Argentinians get their long-desired sovereignty. It would seem that the British would be better off agreeing to this scenario. They might even thank desert voice for this idea!

    May 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
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