'It's not a joke, it's a provocation!': Argentina launches another attack on Britain amid Falklands row

4 December 2023, 17:55 | Updated: 4 December 2023, 18:01

In his victory speech in November, Mr Milei promised Argentina that "the reconstruction of Argentina begins."
In his victory speech in November, Mr Milei promised Argentina that "the reconstruction of Argentina begins.". Picture: Alamy
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

Argentina has accused the UK of "provocation" over the Falkland Islands as Britain "stands firmly" with the Island’s right to self-determination.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The relationship between Buenos Aires and London has been tense since Javier Milei, a right-wing libertarian economist was elected as president of Argentina.

The argument between Britain and Argentina started when the new president said in a debate that Argentina should have control of the islands, which it calls Las Malvinas.

Mr Milei has already described Argentina has claimed sovereignty over the islands, which are home to some 3,500 people, as "non-negotiable".

On Thursday 30 November, Britain’s foreign office minister David Rutley arrived at the Falklands' capital, Stanley, to show the UK support for the island’s right to remain British.

Mr Milei refused to meet with Mr Rutley and claimed the Foreign Minister’s visit took place "in the context of the illegal British occupation of the Malvinas".

Read more: Britain 'stands firmly' with Falkland Islands as minister pays visit in fresh warning to Argentina's eccentric president

Read more: Argentina doubles down on Falklands claim as war of words brews after Rishi Sunak says islands' status is 'settled'

There, Mr Rutley issued a warning to Javier Milei, the live wire new president of Argentina.

"I will reiterate that the UK stands firmly behind the Falkland Islanders' rights of self-determination, as an important part of the British family," Rutley said, as he was due to meet the governor, Alison Blake, and members of its legislative assembly.

"The Falkland Islands has a flourishing economy and is making great strides in the fight against climate change, which I look forward to learning about first-hand."

Mr Milei has already described Argentina's claimed sovereignty over the islands.
Mr Milei has already described Argentina's claimed sovereignty over the islands. Picture: Alamy

Argentina’s Secretary for Malvinas Guillermo Carmona condemned the decision for the British representative to visit during the President’s inauguration.

He said: "The Argentine Foreign Ministry rejected the visit to the Malvinas by the Under-Secretary for the Americas, the Caribbean, and Overseas Territories of the Foreign Office, David Rutley.

"He will represent the UK at Milei's presidential inauguration.

"It's not a joke, it's a provocation."

Read more" The Falkland Islands still matter to Brits no matter what the new Argentinian president or his dead dog thinks

In his victory speech in November, Mr Milei promised Argentina that "the reconstruction of Argentina begins.

"Today is a historic night for Argentina.

“Now we have to see how we are going to get them back. It is clear that the war option is not a solution.”

Caller objects to the EU's decision to sign the deal using the Falklands' Argentine name

The Falklands are a British overseas territory, which Argentina invaded in 1982, sparking a military response from the UK. More than 900 people died in the ensuing war, which resulted in the islands remaining under British control.

The population of the Falklands, which are 300 miles off the coast of Argentina in the South Atlantic, voted overwhelmingly to remain British in a 2013 referendum.

Mr Milei suggested the UK could hand over the Falklands in the same way it gave back Hong Kong to China in 1997.

The population of the Falklands voted overwhelmingly to remain British in a 2013 referendum.
The population of the Falklands voted overwhelmingly to remain British in a 2013 referendum. Picture: Alamy

However, he has accepted the islanders' views "cannot be ignored".

Meanwhile, the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly have said that the islands' were British - and this is non-negotiable.

Read more: Falklanders vow to remain British despite new Argentina president claiming sovereignty over islands

Mark Pollard, from the group, said: "We, the democratically elected members, are very clear that discussions on our sovereignty are non-negotiable.

"Falkland Islanders are clear in their desire to remain as a British Overseas Territory and our commitment to being part of the UK family, living in freedom under the government of our choice".

Downing Street has already said the Falklands issue "was settled decisively some time ago".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Sharon Goddard, 53, died after waiting 12 hours in A&E

'Neglected' mum died after waiting more than 12 hours in A&E after returning from dream holiday

Lengthy Royal Mail delays have caused a three-year-old toddler to miss vital chest surgery after urgent NHS letters went undelivered. File images.

Toddler misses vital chest surgery after Royal Mail fail to deliver urgent NHS letters, leaving him coughing and wheezing

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron

Germany and Poland rule out troops for Ukraine as Kremlin warns of wider war

"It’s been a big shock and it’s quite a big impact and he will always remain part of the Strictly family," said Ms Dowden.

'He made the whole room light up': Amy Dowden pays tribute to 'beautiful soul' Robin Windsor after star's death

Poland farmers' protest

Thousands of farmers protest in Warsaw over EU’s environmental policies

Oleg Orlov

Moscow court jails human rights activist for 30 months for Ukraine war criticism

Alan Bates has been giving evidence to MPs today

Sell Post Office to Amazon for a pound, Horizon scandal hero Alan Bates tells MPs

Due to price reasons, the layout of the property and its square footage will not be disclosed, according to the estate agent, Knight Frank.

Freddie Mercury's West London house on the market for £30m – but fans can't see listing over 'privacy reasons'

Pakistan Politics

Ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan and wife plead not guilty in corruption case

Owners of The Crooked House pub have ordered it to be rebuilt

Crooked House owners ordered to rebuild 'Britain's wonkiest pub' brick-by-brick after it was destroyed

Camilla led the royals at the memorial for King Constantine of Greece after Prince William had to pull out.

Camilla leads the royals after Prince William pulls out of memorial for his godfather due to 'personal matter'

Germany Red Army Faction

German left-wing militant arrested after more than 30 years on the run

Arsenal wished Olsson, who has won 47 caps for his country, a "full and speedy recovery" on social media.

Ex-Arsenal midfielder, 28, rushed to hospital with 'acute brain disease' after collapsing at home

Israel Palestinians

Israel ready to halt war during Ramadan if hostage deal reached, says Biden

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talking to King Constantine of Greece in a 2012 photo

Prince William pulls out of Windsor castle memorial event ‘due to a personal matter’

The court heard how Rawle had stabbed her husband twice before - one time with a fork and another with a knife.

Horse trainer 'stabbed husband to death while on phone call with her daughter', trial hears