GB News: Eamonn discusses French missiles on Falklands
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To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War concluding, the Royal British Legion will hold a remembrance event at the National Memorial Arboretum. The conflict was fought between Argentina and the UK in the 1980s, over a territorial dispute on the Falkland Islands. Argentina’s Government has long held claim to the territory, which led to a referendum nearly 10 years ago.
In 2013, a two-day sovereignty referendum was held in the Falkland Islands, to decide whether its residents wished to remain as a UK overseas territory.
A turnout of 92 percent saw residents vote overwhelmingly in favour of keeping its British status.
Of the 1,518 votes cast, 1,513 people voted in favour, with just three votes against. A further two ballots were reported as spoiled.
The referendum was triggered after 31 years of pressure from Argentina, over its claims to the islands.
Election observers from different countries oversaw the vote, including representatives of Chile and Mexico.
Argentina had requested for Latin American countries not to take part in the process.
Speaking at the time, then foreign secretary, William Hague, said: “We have always been clear that we believe in the rights of the Falklands people to determine their own futures and to decide on the path they wish to take.
“It is only right that, in the 21st Century, these rights are respected.
“All countries should accept the results of this referendum and support the Falkland islanders as they continue to develop their home and their economy. I wish them every success in doing so.”
However, Argentina’s president at the time, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, dismissed the vote and said that the Falkland islanders’ wishes are not relevant in what is a territorial issue.
In Argentina, the Falkland Islands are referred to as Las Malvinas, and their recovery is enshrined in the national constitution.
Most Argentines agree with the Government’s stance that the Falkland Islands belong to Argentina.
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The South American country has said it inherited the islands from the Spanish crown in 1767, but that they were seized by Britain in 1833.
However, the UK has said it had previously established a settlement there and never relinquished sovereignty.
Since 1833, the UK claimed it had continuously inhabited and administered the islands.
On April 2, 1982, Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands, and overwhelmed the UK’s Royal Marines stationed there.
It also seized other British South Atlantic territories, including South Georgia.
The UK responded over the course of two months of fighting, which led to the deaths of 255 British and about 650 Argentine servicemen.
Three civilians from the Falkland Islands also died as a result of the fighting, before Argentina surrendered on June 14, 1982.
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