Argentina President Calls for Britain to Relinquish Control of Falklands (Malvinas)

The president of Argentina is calling on Britain to relinquish control of the Falkland Islands, saying that the government is taking part in an act of "blatant colonialism" by claiming the wind-swept archipelago.

On Thursday Cristina Fernández published an open letter in the British newspaper the Guardian urging Prime Minister David Cameron to honor U.N. resolutions which she says backs her case for the return of the islands, which  Argentina calls the Malvinas, to her country. In the past, Fernández has made several similar demands.

"180 years ago on the same date, January 3rd, in a blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism, Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Malvinas Islands, which are situated 14,000 kilometers (8,700 miles) away from London," Fernández says in the letter, copied to U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Britain asserted control of the south Atlantic islands by placing a naval garrison there in 1833. Britain and Argentina fought a brief war in 1982 after Argentina invaded the islands. More than 900 people died, most of them Argentines.

Britain's Foreign Office said in a statement Thursday that the people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. The office said there can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the islands "unless and until such time as the Islanders so wish."

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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