By Mehmet Solmaz
BIRMINGHAM, England (AA) - UK ministers expressed disappointment Thursday over Argentina’s move to end a cooperation agreement and push for fresh talks on the sovereignty of the Falklands.
The agreement was reached under former British Prime Minister Theresa May and then-Argentine President Mauricio Macri in March 2016.
Argentina’s Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero informed his British counterpart James Cleverly about the decision when the two met on the margins of the G20 summit in India on Thursday.
Quoting a tweet posted by Cafiero, Cleverly said: “The Falkland Islands are British. Islanders have the right to decide their own future — they have chosen to remain a self-governing UK Overseas Territory.”
Britain’s minister for the Americas, David Rutley, said he was disappointed that Buenos Aires had “chosen to step away from an agreement that has brought comfort to the families of those killed in the 1982 war.”
Rutley said that Argentina, the UK and the Falklands all benefited from this agreement.
Argentina’s decision came a day after a group of British parliamentarians visited the Falklands. The government said the visitors spent time with soldiers, sailors and aviators at the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) base, which is administered by Strategic Command, to “better understand the issues that affect the Armed Forces community.”
Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the islands it calls Las Malvinas. A conflict in 1982 claimed the lives of 255 British servicemen, three islanders and 649 Argentine personnel.