Cameron to visit Falklands to show support for ‘valued part of British family’

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron will visit the Falkland Islands in a high-profile demonstration they are a “valued part of the British family” amid renewed Argentinian calls for talks on their future.

Lord Cameron’s visit will be the first by a Cabinet minister since 2016 and he stressed that the issue of the archipelago’s sovereignty is “not… up for discussion” while the islanders wish to be British.

Argentinian President Javier Milei, who met Lord Cameron last month, has called for the South Atlantic islands to be handed over to Buenos Aires.

After their meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Foreign Office said the pair had a “warm and cordial meeting” and on the issue of the Falklands “they would agree to disagree, and do so politely”.

“The Falkland Islanders should be proud of the modern, prosperous community they have built.

“The islands are a thriving economy, where as well as farming and fishing, there is a priority given to conservation and sustainability.”

Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the Falklands and Mr Milei has previously suggested the UK should approach the issue in a similar way to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

The Falklands, known as Islas Malvinas in Argentina, around 8,000 miles from Britain and 300 miles from mainland Argentina, were the subject of a bloody conflict in 1982.

Falklands War
Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield was sunk during the 1982 war (PA)

In a 2013 referendum, the islanders voted overwhelmingly to retain their status as a UK overseas territory.

On his visit, Lord Cameron will pay his respects to the British forces who served and those who lost their lives during the conflict in 1982 and thank the UK personnel based on the islands today.

He will also meet leaders of the Falkland Islands government during a visit to the capital Stanley and other sites around the overseas territory.

Lord Cameron will also visit environmental projects and see some of the penguins that depend on the vital island habitats.

He is expected to travel to the Falklands before visiting Paraguay, the first time a British foreign secretary has travelled to the South American nation.

The Foreign Secretary is then due to attend a meeting of G20 counterparts – including Russia’s Sergei Lavrov – in Brazil on Wednesday.

Russia’s actions in Ukraine will also be the subject of a United Nations session in New York later in the week which Lord Cameron will attend.

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