Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Argentina’s President Javier Milei admits ‘Falklands are British’ in stunning climbdown

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun1,2024

The are British, Javier Milei, Argentina’s President, has admitted in a remarkable turnaround from the country’s previous position.

However, the right-winger has said he remains determined to press his nation’s sovereignty claim over the remote archipelago – while acknowledging there was “no instant solution”.

Mr Milei, who was elected in November 2023, has adopted a noticeably more conciliatory approach than Sergio Massa, the man he defeated, not to mention Alberto Fernandez, his predecesessor.

Speaking in April, he vowed to publish what he called a “roadmap” towards making the islands, in the south Atlantic, , while criticising politicians who beat “their chests demanding sovereignty of the islands, but without any result”.

However, speaking to the BBC yesterday, he appeared to rule out the possibility of using military action, 42 years after the 1982 invasion which triggered the Falklands War.

Commenting on an assertion by Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron last mont that the issue of sovereignty was “not up for discussion”, the self-proclaimed anarcho-syndicalist said: “If that territory is now in the hands of the UK, he has a right to do that. I don’t see that as a provocation.”

He explained: “We are not going to relinquish our sovereignty, nor are we going to seek conflict with the United Kingdom.”

As such, talks would “take time” and involve “long-term negotiation”, Mr Milei stressed.

Asked why the UK would sign up for such a process, given islanders overwhelmingly voted to retain their British ties in 2013, he said: “They might not want to negotiate today. At some later point they might want to. Many positions have changed over time.”

He further denied pressing his country’s claim was a priority for his administration, and, referring to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, admitted it could take decades.

He denied it was not a priority of his but, when pushed, admitted “of course” it could take decades – referencing the handover of Hong Kong from the UK to China in 1997.

Mr Milei’s language is noticeably less fiery than that of Mr Fernandez, who has previously called the Falklands “stolen land” and the UK’s claim as “disgusting”.

Under his leadership, Argentina pulled the plug on a co-operation agreement and pushed for the reopening of negotiations.

By contrast, Mr Milei offered a more nuanced view, not least of the conflict which cost the lives of 649 Argentinian and 255 British military personnel.

He also refused to demonise Margaret Thatcher, the UK Prime Minister who sent the task force which liberated the islands after a three-month war, saying: “Criticising someone because of their nationality or race is very intellectually precarious.

“I have heard lots of speeches by Margaret Thatcher. She was brilliant. So what’s the problem?”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Argentina’s President Javier Milei admits ‘Falklands are British’ in stunning climbdown”
  1. As an observer from the US, I find Mr. Milei’s change in stance regarding the Falklands to be quite significant. It’s a refreshing approach to prioritize diplomacy over aggression. It’s crucial for both Argentina and the UK to engage in constructive dialogue rather than resorting to military actions. Hopefully, this will lead to a peaceful resolution in the long run.

  2. Argentina’s President Javier Milei seems to be taking a pragmatic stance on the Falklands issue. It’s interesting to see this change in approach from the country’s previous position. It’s crucial for both sides to find a peaceful resolution through dialogue and negotiations.

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