David Cameron has marked the 30th anniversary of the invasion of the Falklands by saying Britain will continue to protect the islanders' right to choose their future.
Three decades after Argentinian troops seized Port Stanley, the capital, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the task force sent by Margaret Thatcher to defend the islands.
Recent months have seen tensions rising between London and Buenos Aires , with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government loudly asserting its sovereignty claim to Las Malvinas, as it calls the archipelago.
In a gesture of reconciliation, Mr Cameron said in a statement to mark the occasion that the anniversary should be a day to remember the 649 Argentinians who died in the conflict as well as the 255 British armed forces personnel who were killed.
But he said Britain would not compromise on the islanders' right to self-determination.
"Thirty years ago today the people of the Falkland Islands suffered an act of aggression that sought to rob them of their freedom and their way of life," he said.
"Today is a day for commemoration and reflection: a day to remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict - the members of our Armed Forces, as well as the Argentinian personnel who died.
"Today, we salute the heroism of the Task Force which set sail to free the islands.
"We are rightly proud of the role Britain played in righting a profound wrong. And the people of the Falkland Islands can be justly proud of the prosperous and secure future they have built for their islands since 1982.
"Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future.
"That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago: and that is the principle which we solemnly re-affirm today."
The 74-day conflict ended with a ceasefire and the surrender of an Argentinian commander at Port Stanley on June 14, 1982.
A service to mark the 30th anniversary has been held at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Commenting on the escalation of tensions between the UK and Argentina, Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne told Sky News the two countries have a "difficult relationship" and he is yet to visit Argentina as a result.
"We have an unshakable belief in the right to self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands," he said.
In contrast, he said, Argentina wanted to try and "coerce" residents.
The British Government believes the people in the Falklands must be "as free as anybody else to decide the basis on which they are governed," he added.