'The people of the Falklands are British' says Foreign Office as David Cameron rebuffs Argentina over 'colonialism' attack

Argentinian president launched a fierce attack on British "colonialism" and demanded the return of "Las Malvinas", in a letter published as an advert

David Cameron has rebuffed a renewed demand by Argentina to hand back the Falklands, insisting the islands’ residents had his “100 per cent backing” in their determination to remain British.

He hit back after the Argentinian president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, denounced British “colonialism” and said the United Kingdom should start talks on the Falklands’ sovereignty.

Mr Cameron retorted that she should listen to the result of a referendum to be held on the islands this year.

He said: “The future of the Falkland Islands should be determined by the Falkland Islanders themselves, the people who live there.

“Whenever they have been asked their opinion, they say they want to maintain their current status with the United Kingdom.”

The Foreign Office also commented today using the micro-blogging site Twitter.

The official FCO account said: “The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. They remain free to choose their own futures and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN charter. There are three parties to this debate, not just two as Argentina likes to pretend. There can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the islanders so wish.”

Ms de Kirchner’s intervention comes with relations between London and Buenos Aires at a low point.

She made several calls in 2012 – the 30th anniversary of the two countries going to war over the Falklands – for Britain to surrender the islands. She clashed face to face with the Prime Minister over the issue at the G20 summit in Mexico last June.

In response to toughening language from Buenos Aires, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the National Security Council last year to discuss the Falklands, explaining he wanted to “make sure our defences and everything else is in order”.

Last month Argentina also denounced the decision by the Government to name a huge tract of Antarctica, which it also claims, in honour of the Queen.

Yesterday Ms de Kirchner intensified the diplomatic row in a letter to Mr Cameron in which pointed out the “Malvinas” were 14,000km (8,700 miles) from London and claimed Argentina was forcibly stripped” of the islands in 1833.

She wrote: “The Argentines on the islands were expelled by the Royal Navy and the United Kingdom subsequently began a population implantation process similar to that applied to other territories under colonial rule.

“Since then Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity.

“The question of the Malvinas islands is also a cause embraced by Latin America and a vast majority of peoples and governments around the world that reject colonialism.”

Her argument was dismissed by Barry Elsby of the Falklands’ Legislative Assembly. He said: “We are not a colony – our relationship with the United Kingdom is by choice.”

Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, said: “The Falkland islanders have an established right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN charter and it is right Britain continues to defend this right. “

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Life and Style
fashion'To start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?'
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor

£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...

Argyll Scott International: Risk Assurance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Ashdown Group: IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible