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Spain & Argentina urge the UK to re-open negotiations over Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands
ThinkSpain , Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Spanish government has officially supported a request from Argentina to re-open negotiations with the United Kingdom on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, and took the opportunity to reiterate to the UK its willingness, in line with UN guidelines, to restart  negotiations to resolve the contentious issue of Gibraltar.

Three days ago, on the 183rd anniversary of the British occupation of the Falklands, the Argentine government renewed its demands with regard to the sovereignty of the South Atlantic archipelago.

Spain, via an official communiqué from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported Argentina's request to re-open dialogue with the United Kingdom in search of a peaceful and lasting solution to the contested sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, and stated: "Just like Argentina, Spain fully supports bilateral dialogue with the United Kingdom in order to find a definitive solution to the two issues which affect the territorial integrity of Argentina and Spain".

Argentina and the United Kingdom went to war over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands in 1982, after Argentine troops landed on the islands. The conflict, which ended in Argentina's surrender in June of the same year, cost the lives of 255 Britons, three islanders and 649 Argentines.

In March 2013 a referendum was held, although not recognised by the Argentine government, in which the Falkland islanders decided by an overwhelming majority to remain under British rule. After Mauricio Macri took power in Argentina on December 10th last year, the British government expressed its hopes that the new president would not continue to "hound" the Falkland Islanders as they felt his predecessor, Cristina Fernández, had done.

The government of Gibraltar, for its part, has issued a communiqué rejecting Spain's request restart negotiations with the UK over its sovereignty, saying that "it is not a subject up for discussion or negotiation with Spain". It also warned that it would "never allow" the UK to participate in any "conversation, discussion or negotiation" with Spain with respect to the sovereignty of Gibraltar.

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