Boris Johnson opens up on 'frank' Falklands talk with Argentina's President

The Prime Minister compared the Falkands War to the Ukraine

Published

Boris Johnson compared the battle to liberate the Falkland Islands 40 years ago to the war in Ukraine in a “frank” discussion with Argentina’s president.

Alberto Fernandez raised the issue of the Falklands – which the Argentines call Las Malvinas and claim sovereignty over – during talks with Mr Johnson at an international summit.

The Prime Minister said the issue of the Falkland Islands’ sovereignty had been settled “decisively” and that principle had been supported by the “sacrifice of many lives” in the 1982 war.

The two leaders met at the G7 summit in Germany on Monday, with an official account issued by No 10 recording that the issue was raised by the president.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister gave more details of the conversation to journalists accompanying him to the Nato summit in Madrid on Tuesday.

“Normally speaking in my relations with Argentinian leaders, we have a very simple formula, which is that we accept there’s a lot that we can work on together and the UK and Argentina actually have a big common agenda of things we like to discuss whether it’s the oceans, tackling climate change, increasing our trade, there’s a huge amount that we that we do together,” he said.

Alberto Fernandez
Alberto Fernandez

“There is one particular issue where we simply do not have compatible opinions.

“I made the point that we were spending a lot of our time talking about Ukraine, where the principle at stake was the right of sovereign, independent people to determine their future.

“That was the principle that was at stake in the Falklands. It had been decided decisively over many, many, many years and I still see no reason for us to engage in a substantive discussion about it.”

Asked if he was disappointed that the issue had been raised, Mr Johnson said the discussion was “frank, but it seemed to me to be friendly”.

He added: “I just said that it had been 40 years ago since the UK had at a cost of the sacrifice of many lives vindicated the principle that the Falkland Islanders should have the right to determine their future under basic democratic principles and had the right to be British.

“That as far as I was concerned was the end of the matter.”