The Falkland Islands are to hold a referendum on their 'political status' - hoping to bring an end to the continuing dispute with Argentina over the islands' sovereignty, their government said today.
The announcement comes as Falklanders prepare to mark the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the islands.
Three decades after Margaret Thatcher sent 27,000 troops and more than 100 ships to repel the Argentinian invaders, Buenos Aires continues to set its sights on claiming the territory it calls Las Malvinas.
But the Falkland Islands government said it hopes a referendum will send a firm message to Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that islanders want to remain British.
Reacting to the announcement, Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne said this is a 'truly significant moment'.
The Falkland Islands, a rocky archipelago in the South Atlantic, are 7,780 miles from the UK and 1,140 miles from Buenos Aires.
They have been under British control since 1833 - apart from the brief but bitter 74 days of occupation in 1982.
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