Argentina's new far-right president claims sovereignty of Falklands Islands 'non-negotiable'

Argentina's new far-right president-elect and self-proclaimed 'libertarian' made some bold pledges during his election campaign.

His most recent one might just have sent ripples around the world.

Javier Milei is known by his fans as 'the madman' and 'the wig' due to his ferocious style and unruly mop of hair.

He won Argentina's election on Sunday taking all but three of the nation’s 24 provinces and sweeping up 55.7% of the vote.

He's been outspoken in the past about abortion, pledging to row back on its legalisation in the country in 2020.

The 53-year-old former TV pundit has also explained his 'free-thinking' around drug policy and prostitution.

Javier Milei brandishes a chainsaw during a rally in Argentina. Credit: AP

His latest comments about the Falkland Islands have angered many.

In a newspaper interview with La Nacion, a daily newspaper in Argentina, he proposed that the UK hand over the Falklands to his South American country in a similar way to how Hong Kong was given back over to Chinese rule in 1997.

The islands were the subject of a bloody conflict in 1982 after Argentine forces invaded and briefly occupied the territory.

The war claimed the lives of 255 British servicemen, three islanders and 649 Argentine personnel.

The populist politician has also praised Margaret Thatcher, who dealt with the conflict surrounding the Falklands War, dubbing her "one of greatest leaders in the history of humanity".

Elsewhere during the presidential campaign, Mr Milei reportedly said Buenos Aires had “non-negotiable” sovereignty over the Falklands, the archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean which is known as the Malvinas by Argentines.

During a TV election debate, Mr Milei also said: “What do I propose? Argentina’s sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands is non-negotiable. The Malvinas are Argentine.

“Now we have to see how we are going to get them back. It is clear that the war option is not a solution.

“We had a war – that we lost – and now we have to make every effort to recover the islands through diplomatic channels.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps appeared to respond to the recent comments, posting on X to say that's it was “undeniable” that the Falkland Islands are British.

“The Falkland Islands are British. That is non-negotiable and undeniable," Mr Shapps wrote.

“99.8% of islanders voted to remain British and we will always defend their right to self-determination and the UK’s sovereignty."

A 2013 referendum saw a close to 100% 'remain' vote from those on the islands, which has a population of about 3,500 people, wanting to stick as a UK Overseas Territory.

The Falklands are about 8,000 miles from the UK and about 300 miles from mainland Argentina.

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