Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands

News: The archipelago, located in the South Atlantic Ocean, has been under British control since 1833. However, Argentina has claimed sovereignty over the islands since the early 19th century, leading to a series of conflicts and tensions between the two countries.

 During the G20 summit in India, Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero presented a proposal to recommence discussions regarding sovereignty over the Falkland Islands to his British counterpart, James Cleverly.

What is the Falkland island issue?
 The Falkland Islands, also known as the Malvinas, have been a long-standing issue between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
 The Falkland Islands were discovered by Europeans in the 16th century and were claimed by Spain. However, the islands were abandoned in the 18th century, and in 1764, France established a settlement on the islands. The British also established a settlement in 1765, but they abandoned it in 1774. In 1820, Argentina declared independence from Spain and claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. However, the British re-established their presence in 1833 and have maintained control ever since.
 In 1892, Argentine forces invaded the islands which led to war. However, Argentina were forced to surrender as they couldn’t beat the British counterparts.

What do the International law say?
 The issue of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands is complicated by international law. The United Nations Charter recognises the principle of self-determination for all peoples. However, it also recognises the territorial integrity of states.
 In this case, Argentina claims that the principle of self-determination should apply to the Falkland Islanders, who are of Argentine descent. The United Kingdom argues that the principle of self-determination should apply to the current inhabitants of the islands.

What are views of Falkland islanders?
 In a referendum held in March 2013, 99.8 per cent of Falkland Islanders voted to remain a British Overseas Territory. The referendum was seen as a clear indication of the wishes of the islanders and has been cited by the United Kingdom as evidence that they have a right to self-determination.

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