Great britain immediately called on the argentine government to respect the will of the inselbevolkerung. Argentina, which lays claim to the resource-rich falkland islands, should "take careful note" of the referendum result, prime minister david cameron said tuesday.
International election observers had judged the vote to be free and fair. Falklanders celebrated the result of the vote in the capital port stanley on monday evening (local time).
Argentina has long laid claim to the archipelago in the sudatlantic, just 400 kilometers off the argentine mainland. The government in buenos aires demands bilateral talks with great britain on the sovereignty of the territory, as foreseen by a UN resolution of 1965. Demands have been growing since it was revealed in 2010 that there are exploitable reserves of oil and natural gas off the falkland islands.
Argentina does not recognize falkland referendum as binding. Auben minister hector timermann had said in advance that in the referendum, "brits were asked by brits if they wanted to stay british."Argentina’s ambassador to london, alicia castro, said the referendum result was "not surprising". The fact that 99.8 percent of the island’s inhabitants voted in favor of maintaining british sovereignty over the sudanese territory was "absolutely irrelevant," the ambassador told FM delta radio. The inhabitants of the archipelago claimed by argentina had political rights, but not the right to resolve the conflict with argentina over the island territory.
Great britain will "always be there to defend the people," cameron said. In 1982 argentina had occupied the group of islands – great britain reconquered them in a bloody war. Since then, the british have significantly expanded their military base on the falkland islands. The government in london has to spend 200 million pounds (about 230 million euros) a year to maintain the status quo.