Boris Johnson reveals Falklands row with Argentinian president at G7

PM had ‘frank’ exchange of views with Alberto Fernandez over sovereignty

Boris Johnson meets with Emmanuel Macron at G7 summit
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Boris Johnson has revealed that he had a “frank” exchange with Argentina’s president Alberto Fernandez about British sovereignty of the Falkland Islands at the G7 conference.

The PM shared his displeasure that the subject was raised when the leaders met at the margins of the summit in Germany shortly after the 40th anniversary of the war over the South Atlantic islands.

Asked if he was disappointed Mr Fernandez had brought up British control, Mr Johnson told reporters: “Yeah”, before saying he had offered a reminder that the matter was settled.

“It had been decided decisively over many, many years, and I saw no reason for us to engage in a substantive discussion about it,” the PM said on his journey from the G7 to the Nato summit in Madrid.

He added: “I made the point that we were spending a lot of our time talking about Ukraine, where the principle at stake was the right of sovereign independent people to determine their future.”

The undeclared war in 1982 between Britain and Argentina, following the invasion of the islands by General Leopoldo Galtieri’s junta, claimed the lives of 255 British forces personnel.

According to the Argentine delegation’s statement after the G7 meeting, Mr Fernandez said the Falklands were a “colonial enclave” and told the sovereignity issue was different to Ukraine.

The president is also said to have asked the prime minister for the re-establishment of flights to the islands from Argentina.

“I understand that our friends in the Argentinian delegation have presented this as being a more acrimonious conversation than it was,” Mr Johnson said on Tuesday. “I would say it was frank, free – but it seemed to me to be friendly.”

Asked what he had said to Mr Fernandez, he added: “I just said it had been 40 years ago since the UK had – at the cost of sacrificing many lives – had vindicated principle that the Falkland Islanders should have the right to determine their future under basic diplomatic principles and have the right to be British.”

Meanwhile it emerged that Mr Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron drank whisky together at the G7 summit in Bavaria on Sunday night, according to a UK government source.

“The PM is not a big drinker, nor a late-night party animal,” said the official, revealing that Mr Johnson was up early on Monday morning for a swim.

Mr Johnson has also enjoyed “ongoing banter” with Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau about the infamous photos of Vladimir Putin’s bare-chested horseback rides.

“Trudeau ran around the lake as the prime minister was swimming in it,” said the source. “So the banter about riding bareback and imitating Putin and displaying their pecs got a new lease of life.”

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