British newspaper The Sun has issued a riposte to Argentina's claims of the Falklands Islands.
Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchne wrote an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, which was published in the British press on Thursday.
In the letter, Kirchner wrote:
“The Argentines on the Islands were expelled by the Royal Navy and the United Kingdom subsequently began a population implantation process similar to that applied to other territories under colonial rule.
“Since then, Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity.”
Now, British newspaper The Sun has responded with an open letter published in a Buenos Aires newspaper, telling Argentina to keep its “hands off” the long-disputed territory.
The Sun’s letter refers to the 649 Argentinians and 255 British servicemen who lost their lives in the 1982 war, saying: “self-determination is a fundamental human right for all peoples.”
“No Argentine civilian population was ever expelled. It was an Argentine garrison which had been sent to the islands in an attempt to impose Argentinian sovereignty over British sovereign territory.
“Until the people of the Falklands Islands choose to become Argentinian, they remain resolutely British.”
The Sun’s letter ended by saying: "In the name of our millions of readers, and to put it another way: “HANDS OFF!” "
The Falkland Islands have been under British control for 180 years. Ownership of the islands has been long disputed, most notably in 1982 when Argentina invaded the island. Britain, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, also known as the “Iron Lady,” took swift action to secure the islands.
The Sun newspaper caused controversy at the time of the war, with the headline “GOTCHA,” in reference to the torpedoing of the Argentinian ship General Belgrano.