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'The Sun' wades into Falklands row with newspaper ad

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The Sun newspaper has placed an advert in an English-language newspaper in Argentina defending Britain's sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

The tabloid paper has taken the step in response to an open letter from Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, which was run in The Guardian and The Independent.

Sun runs Falklands ad in Argentina paper

© News International



In her letter to David Cameron, President Fernandez repeated calls for the islands - known as the Malvinas in Argentina - to come under her country's sovereignty.

Argentina invaded the islands in 1982, but was repelled by British forces sent by the then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

A referendum will be held in March this year on the islands' future political status. Fernandez wants Cameron to honour a 1965 US resolution to "negotiate a solution" to the sovereignty dispute.

However, The Sun has now waded into the dispute, taking out an ad in the English-language paper Buenos Aires Herald - read by around 50,000 people - warning Argentina to keep its "hands off" the islands.

The ad says that the 1982 war - in which 649 Argentines, 255 British servicemen and three residents of the island lost their lives - was a conflict to defend the principle of self-determination.

The first copies of the new Sun on Sunday newspaper

© PA Images / John Stillwell/PA Wire



The paper also disputes Argentina's claim to the islands, pointing out that British sovereignty goes back to 1765.

It concludes: "Until the people of the Falkland Islands choose to become Argentinian, they remain resolutely British. In the name of our millions of readers, and to put it another way, 'hands off!'"

Argentine journalist Celina Andreassi said that The Sun's advert was quite provocative, but also put forward the same arguments as previously advanced by some parts of the British press.

Asked about the potential reaction in Argentina, she told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Probably anger, people will wonder what has The Sun got to do with it.

"But again the arguments The Sun puts forward are the arguments the British have generally put forward; the arguments our press put forward are the same as always - basically there's really nothing new."

Others have pointed out that The Sun still has a pretty bad reputation in Argentina from the notorious 'Gotcha' headline that accompanied the front page article on the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano by British forces in May 1982.

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