Falkland Islands threat: Argentina to make sovereignty claim on 200 year anniversary

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Argentina has long made claim to the Falklands Islands, which it calls the Malvinas, despite the South Atlantic archipelago formally being a British overseas territory. The Argentine government continue to affirm its sovereignty over the islands and will hold a large event on November 6 to reassert its claim.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez will host a memorial event on Friday to mark 200 years since the first waving of the Argentine flag in the Falklands.

The move will serve to show London its claim for the islands.

José Luis Fernández Valoni, diplomat and coordinator of the Council on issues related to the South Atlantic, said November 6 marks a key date for the country.

He said in a letter: “This is not an isolated event, but part of a succession of clear manifestations – of various kinds– of the effective exercise of Argentine sovereignty over the southern archipelagos, inherited from the Spanish Crown in 1810 and the British usurpation on January 1833.”

November 6 marks the 200th anniversary of the taking of possession of the Falklands by Argentine navy commander David Jewett, who raised the country’s flag on the islands for the first time.

A number of commemorative activities will take place, including the presentation of the new Malvinas Advisory Council.

The Council, created by law, will be made up of cross-bench legislators, academics, jurists, representatives of the national government and veterans from the 1982 Falklands war.

The names of the people on the Council will be revealed on Friday.

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Daniel Filmus, an Argentine politician who is Malvinas Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, said the celebrations mark a significant milestone for the country.

He said: “The commemoration of the 200 years of the first waving of the flag in the islands is a milestone in history that reaffirms our sovereignty in the Malvinas.”

As part of the event, the government will also launch an official stamp made by the Argentine Mail.

The stamp commemorates 200 years of the first raising of the glad and will be available from November 6 at a cost of 90 pesos (88p).

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The Argentine flag will also be raised throughout the country.

The national event comes as tensions between Argentina and Britain continue to escalate.

Last week Argentine defines minister Agustín Rossi, accused London of “imperial arrogance” by preventing the sale of South Korean fighter jets to Argentina.

Argentina was blocked from purchasing the aircraft because they contain British components, giving the UK approval on sales.

The Falklands Islands has been the subject of disputes between the UK and Argentina since the 18th century.

The two countries waged a brief but bitter war over the territory in 1982.

Argentine forces, who had landed on the islands to state a territorial claim, were removed by a British military task force.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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