Friday 18 April 2014

PM at odds with pope over Falklands

David Cameron says the Falkland islanders have chosen very clearly the future they want

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he disagrees with the new pope over the future of the Falkland Islands.

Pope Francis i, who is the first Argentinian pontiff and a former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, has previously described the disputed islands as "Argentinian soil" which was "usurped" by Britain.

But Mr Cameron urged all world leaders, including the pope, to respect the overwhelming 99.8% vote in this week's Falklands referendum in favour of remaining a British Overseas Territory.

In a reference to the method used by the Vatican to announce a decision on the identity of the new pope, he said: "The white smoke over the Falklands was pretty clear."

Asked at a press conference in Brussels whether he agreed with Francis on the issue of the Falklands, Mr Cameron said: "I don't agree with him - respectfully, obviously.

"There was a pretty extraordinarily clear referendum in the Falkland Islands and I think that is a message to everyone in the world that the people of these islands have chosen very clearly the future they want and that choice should be respected by everyone."

Press Association

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