Falkland Islanders have voted almost unanimously to remain under British rule.
Of the 1,649 Falklands-born and long-term residents registered to vote, 92 percent of them participated in the referendum and only three voted no.
Nigel Haywood the Falkland Islands British Governor said:
“This was a pretty massive demonstration of the way the Falkland islanders feel and the way they see their future. Obviously it’s a major principle of the United Nations that a people have their right to self determination and you don’t get a much clearer expression of the people’s self determination than such a large turn out and such a large ‘yes’ vote.”
Argentina has intensified its sovereignty claim on the South Atlantic archipelago it calls the Malvinas, ever since London-listed companies started drilling for oil and natural gas off the Falklands coastline.
The Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has put pressure on Britain to negotiate the sovereignty of the islands, citing UN resolutions calling on London to sit down for talks, but British Prime Minister David Cameron says he will not negotiate unless the islanders request it.
Argentina’s ambassador to London dismissed the referendum saying it is “a ploy that has no legal value.”
Three decades after the two countries went to war over the territory, politicians on the islands hope the “yes” vote will help them lobby support abroad, especially looking to the US which remains neutral on the issue.