British Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed that U.S. President Barack Obama supports Britain’s current “status quo” position in regards to the sovereignty of the Falklands/Malvinas.
Cameron raised concerns about Argentina’s increasing hostility in the diplomatic dispute over the islands to Obama at their White House meeting on Wednesday.
The British prime minister said that Obama assured him that the U.S. government is “content with the status quo” resolution, under which the Falklands/Malvinas remain a British overseas territory.
Speaking from Ground Zero in New York, Cameron stated: “We discussed the issue briefly yesterday. I wanted to stress how important it is for Britain to set out how clearly we support the right of the Falkland Islanders to determine their own future.
“They want to remain with us and that is very clear.”
President Obama stated that “The United States would stop prodding Britain and Argentina to talk to each other over the Falklands and stick to its historic position of neutrality.”
The U.S. State Department thus far maintained that the Falklands/Malvinas was a bilateral issue that “must be solved directly between Argentina and the UK.”
Further diplomatic tensions were triggered last week when Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman announced that Argentina would take legal action against any British oil firm involved in exploration in the Falklands/Malvinas.
In a press conference, Timmermann stated that offshore oil exploration amounts to a unilateral move and defies UN resolutions.
“With these actions we assume the responsibility of defending Argentina’s natural resources,” he said. “The South Atlantic’s oil and gas are property of the Argentine people.”
UK officials confirmed that discussions between the U.S. and the U.K. are underway to consider the release of strategic oil reserves in the South Atlantic platform. Both governments are under political pressure to reduce soaring fuel prices.