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British PM rebuffs Argentina in Falkland Islands dispute

3 January 2013

British Prime Minister David Cameron has rebuffed demands from Argentina to negotiate a solution to the dispute over the Falkland Islands. In an open letter, President Cristina Fernandez is calling for talks, as she continues to assert her country’s sovereignty claim. “In the name of the Argentine people, I reiterate our invitation for us to abide by the resolutions of the United Nations,” she says. Cameron says the future of the Falklands is up to island residents, not Argentina. “The future of the Falkland Islands should be determined by the Falkland islanders themselves. People who live there,” he said. “Whenever they have been asked their opinion, they have said they want to maintain their current status with the United Kingdom. “They are holding a referendum this year and I hope the president of Argentina will listen to that referendum and recognise it is for the Falkland islanders to choose their future and as long as they choose to stay with the United Kingdom, they have my 100 percent backing.” Islanders are expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour of the status quo in the referendum. Britain and Argentina fought a 10-week war in 1982 over the remote South Atlantic islands, which are part of Britain’s self-governing overseas territories. The Falklands cause is a popular rallying cry in Argentina, but the stakes have also been raised by oil exploration in nearby waters.