Malvinas sovereignty ‘not up for discussion,’ David Cameron says in visit to islands

Although the Argentine government offered no comment, at least three governors protested the British Foreign Secretary’s presence

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that the Malvinas sovereignty is “not up for discussion” in a visit to the islands on Monday, adding that the United Kingdom will maintain its stance as long as the islanders want to remain a part of the “U.K. family.”

“The Falkland Islands are a valued part of the British family, and we are clear that as long as they want to remain part of the family, the issue of sovereignty will not be up for discussion,” Cameron said in a press statement.

The Foreign Secretary arrived on the islands on Monday, the first stop of a trip through the Americas that includes visits to Paraguay and Brazil. According to a post he wrote on X, one of his goals was to pay respect “to all those who lost their lives during the conflict in 1982.” He visited Darwin Cemetery, where the UK allowed Argentine soldiers who were killed during the 1982 war to be buried.

Cameron also left a wreath at the 1982 Liberation Memorial, which commemorates British forces that served in the war. “We will never forget the incredible service of British forces,” he wrote on X, adding that the UK government will “always support the Falkand islanders’ rights.”

The Argentine government did not protest Cameron’s visit. On Tuesday, Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni said during a press conference that the Milei administration had “no reason to express an opinion” given that it was “an issue of the British government’s agenda.” Adorni, however, reaffirmed the country’s sovereignty claim over Malvinas.

At least three Argentine governors did protest the visit. Gustavo Melella, governor of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, and the Southern Atlantic Islands, declared Cameron persona non grata in the province. Melella rules the area that claims sovereignty over the Malvinas.

“No colonialist representative of a state that goes against our territorial integrity by tainting the memory and eternal sacrifice of our Malvinas heroes will be welcome in our province,” Melella wrote on X.

Governors Axel Kicillof and Alberto Weretilneck, from Buenos Aires province and Río Negro, also condemned Cameron’s visit, calling it “an attempt to undermine [Argentina’s] legitimate sovereignty rights” and “an offense to our veterans and all entire Argentine people,” respectively.

Cameron is the first UK official to visit the Malvinas since 2016. The last British foreign secretary to go there was Douglas Hurd in 1994. Cameron’s America trip will continue on Tuesday in Paraguay. He will then make a stop at the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brazil and end in New York for the United Nations Assembly.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said “the UK can both uphold the Falkland Islanders’ right of self-determination and have a good relationship with Argentina in which [they] agree to disagree on sovereignty but still work constructively together on areas of common interest.”

In January, Cameron met with Argentine President Javier Milei at the Davos Forum. Previously, Milei had expressed his interest in resuming negotiations on the issue of Malvinas sovereignty, saying he would advocate for a solution similar to China and the UK’s 1997 Hong Kong agreement. According to Milei, the two agreed to include the issue on their agenda in order to find a solution.

Editorial disclaimer

Although the UK refers to the territory as the “Falklands Islands,” Argentina strongly contests this name. The Buenos Aires Herald refers to the islands as the Malvinas Islands.


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