Foreign Secretary visits ‘part of the British family’ Falkland Islands

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Foreign Secretary David Cameron walks around the harbour as he visits the Falkland Islands. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street. CC BY 2.0 DEED

Foreign Secretary David Cameron is currently visiting the Falkland Islands during the first leg of his first visit to the South Atlantic, South America and New York.  

Lord Cameron’s trip is a high-profile demonstration that the islands are “part of the British family.”

The Foreign Secretary has been meeting leaders of the Falkland Islands Government and seeing the range of communities that form part of the British family during his visit to Stanley and other sites around the UK’s Overseas Territory.  

Foreign Secretary David Cameron speaks with residents as he visits the Falkland Islands. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street. CC BY 2.0 DEED

Lord Cameron was taken on a helicopter tour of the islands, stopping at San Carlos and Goose Green, two of the most significant sites in the 1982 war.

The 1982 conflict claimed the lives of 255 British servicemen, three islanders and 649 Argentinian personnel. In a 2013 referendum, the islanders voted overwhelmingly to retain their status as a UK overseas territory.

The former PM said he hopes the people of the Falkland Islands will want to stay British “forever” as he insisted a drive to improve relations with Argentina would not come at their expense. In the 2013 referendum, Falkland Islanders overwhelmingly voted to retain their status as a self-governing UK Overseas Territory.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said:  

The Falkland Islands are a valued part of the British family, and we are clear that as long as they want to remain part of the family, the issue of sovereignty will not be up for discussion.

The Falkland Islanders should be proud of the modern, prosperous community they have built. The Islands are a thriving economy, where as well as farming and fishing, there is a priority given to conservation and sustainability.

The Foreign Secretary has also been paying his respects to all those British personnel who served and those who lost their lives during the conflict in 1982 and thank the UK military personnel serving on the Islands today. Writing in a community hall visitors’ book, Lord Cameron said: “Thank you for keeping their memory alive.”

Mr Cameron is also seeing the Islanders’ work to protect their natural environment and some of the million penguins that live across the Islands. The Islands are thought to be home to around 20% of the world’s tussac grass and is home to a great number of seals, birds, and invertebrates.

Lord Cameron’s visit to The Falklands is the first by a member of the Cabinet since Sir Michael Fallon’s trip in 2016 when he was Defence Secretary. The last visit by a Foreign Secretary was Lord Hurd in 1994.

The former PM will then travel on to Paraguay, where he will be the first UK Foreign Secretary to ever visit the country. After that, he is due to go on to the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brazil where he will discuss G20 agendas on tackling hunger and climate change and work with partners to advance efforts towards peace in the Middle East and support for Ukraine.  And lastly, he will head to New York for the UN ahead of the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale illegal invasion of Ukraine.

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