Saturday, December 9, 2023

WORLD | 21-11-2023 13:37

British PM Rishi Sunak sends congratulations to Argentina president-elect Javier Milei

Spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says Conservative leader has sent his congratulations to Argentina's president-elect but adds that Malvinas issue is "a question resolved a long time ago."

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulated Javier Milei on his election victory on Monday via a spokesperson, while reminding him that the Malvinas sovereignty dispute between both countries "is a resolved question."

"We have transmitted our congratulations" to the president-elect on his victory, the spokesperson told the press, adding: "As G20 members with a prosperous commercial association, we hope to develop a solid and productive relationship."

The previous day libertarian economist Milei won Argentina’s presidential election run-off in a landslide triumph with 55 percent to 44 percent for Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa.

Argentina is facing a period of deep uncertainty and is sunk in its worst economic crisis in two decades with inflation running at 140 percent per annum.

During those two decades Argentina has been governed since 2003 by centre-left Peronism, with Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as its dominant figures, except for a four-year interval of a right-wing government under Mauricio Macri (2015-2019).  

Regarding Argentina’s Malvinas (Falkland) Islands sovereignty claim, the spokesperson of the British prime minister was blunt, replying when questioned on this issue by a journalist: "I haven’t seen more recent commentaries in that respect. I believe that he [Milei] proposed various viewpoints during the campaign. For our part it’s obviously a question resolved a long time ago and there are no plans to review it…. That will not change."

During the campaign, Milei had said, as published in the November 13 edition of La Nación, "After losing the war we have to make every effort to recover the islands by diplomatic means. Of course I will defend the Malvinas."

The South Atlantic archipelago, 400 kilometres off the Argentine coast and almost 13,000 kilometres distant from the United Kingdom, was the scene of a 1982 war lasting 74 days and leaving 649 Argentines and 255 British dead.

In 2013, 99.8 percent of the voters in a territory with barely 2,000 inhabitants voted to stay under British control starting with their occupation in 1833 while Argentina maintains that the islands were inherited from the Spanish crown after independence.



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