A senior Argentinian politician claimed yesterday that his country will one day take over the Falkland Islands from Britain.
Daniel Filmus, who is chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Senate in Buenos Aires, sparked anger by predicting that the South Atlantic archipelago’s eventual destiny was control by Argentina.
But he insisted his country would take the islands by peaceful means rather than force.
In an interview with Radio Five Live’s Breakfast programme he said: “There’s no suppression which lasts forever.
“It’s just a matter of how much time it takes for it to be understood that there must be dialogue and the need to find a mechanism for diplomatic agreement to get us there.” Speaking ahead of the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, which began on April 2 1982, Mr Filmus said Argentinians “have enough patience and know what is right”.
Argentina has revived the dispute over the islands they call Las Malvinas as the anniversary approaches.
Mr Filmus, a member of the same political party as Argentina’s President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, told the programme: “It is in our constitution and it is in the hearts of all Argentinians that sooner or later we will regain the Malvinas, which is just 700km off our coastline and more than 14,000km from the British coast, along with all the riches that are there – fishing, oil and the Antarctic projects. This is something that concerns the sovereignty not just of Argentina but the whole of Latin America.”
Foreign Office chiefs, who are braced for further Argentinian claims on the islands in the coming days and months, dismissed his suggestion.
One Whitehall source said: “Our principle is that the destiny of the islands is a matter for the people who live there.”
Argentina invaded the Falklands 30 years ago on April 2. Three days later a Task Force of 100 ships, led by aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible, left Portsmouth.
In two months of fighting, 255 British and 650 Argentinian servicemen died. Argentina surrendered after British forces entered Port Stanley on June 14.
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