The advert was in response to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's letter to David Cameron (Reuters)
The advert was in response to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's letter to David Cameron (Reuters)

The Sun newspaper has taken out an advert in an English-language Argentine newspaper warning the country's president to keep her hands off the Falkland Islands.

The advert is a response to Argentina's President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's open letter in the Guardian and Independent to David Cameron which urged Britain to relinquish control of the Falklands.

A referendum on the political status of the island is due in March. The islands were declared British Overseas Territories after Britain established colonial rule in 1833. Argentina invaded the Falklands in 1982, and the resulting war led to the deaths of 649 Argentines and 255 Britons.

The Sun's full-page advert in the Buenos Aires Herald says that those who died in the war fought to defend the principle of self-determination.

The ad even suggests British sovereignty of the islands date back to 1765 - before the Republic of Argentina existed.

It continues to say that the Falklands - known as Las Malvinas in Argentina - will remain "resolutely British" until the 3,000-strong islanders choose otherwise.

It concludes: "In the name of our millions of readers and to put it another way: 'Hands off!"

The advert is a direct response to Kirchner's letter, which was sent on the 180th anniversary of Argentina being "forcibly stripped" of the Falklands.

19th-century colonialism

The letter, also sent to secretary-general of the United Nations Ban-ki Moon, refered to Britain's control of the Falklands as a "blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism".

It added: "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."

Kirchner urged Cameron to abide by a 1965 UN resolution to "negotiate a solution" to the dispute. The Prime Minister responded to the letter by saying the president should listen to the islander's views in March's referendum.

"As long as [the islanders] choose to stay with the United Kingdom they have my 100% backing," said Cameron.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. They remain free to choose their own futures, both politically and economically, and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter.

"This is a fundamental human right for all peoples. There are three parties to this debate, not just two as Argentina likes to pretend. The islanders can't just be written out of history.

"As such, there can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the islanders so wish."

Tensions between Britain and Argentina over the Falklands were ignited last year when Prince William embarked on a six-week tour of the islands shortly before the 30-year anniversary of the war.

Kirchner commemorated the anniversary by delivering a speech in the southernmost city of Ushuaia where she branded the British rule of the Falklands "absurd".

Argentina's De Kirchner Blasts Blatant British Colonialism [VIDEO + FULL TEXT]