Wednesday 18 October 2017

Leave Falklands alone, Argentinians tell president

Fiona Govan in London

ARGENTINA'S president Cristina Kirchner has been told to leave Falkland islanders to decide their own future.

The Peronist leader faced a backlash from some of the South American country's leading thinkers, who published an open letter calling on Mrs Kirchner to rethink her policy towards the islands. They said her attitude on the islands they call the Malvinas was "crazy" and "absurd".

The 17 signatories accused her government of "harassing" the Falklands population of 3,000, who want the islands to remain a British Overseas Territory.

They said Argentina must respect the islanders' right to self-determination.

"It is truly absurd and crazy to force a government and sovereignty on people who do not want it," said Fernando Iglesias, a former congressman.

Historian Luis Alberto Roberto criticised Mrs Kirchner's policies, saying the government should be looking to forge links with the islanders, not isolate them.

"In 1982 we resorted to force. We destroyed what had been achieved over many years. We created perfectly justified hate and fear. We lost the Malvinas. And, furthermore, we lost many Argentines."

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict and concerns have risen over the increasingly hostile rhetoric emerging from Argentina.

Argentina stepped up its claims to the Falklands when British companies began drilling for oil in the South Atlantic. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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