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Falkland Islands PDF Print E-mail

The Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located 300 miles (480 km) from the coast of Argentina, 671 miles (1,080 km) west of the Shag Rocks (South Georgia), and 584 miles (940 km) north of the British Antarctic Territory (which overlaps with the Argentine and Chilean claims to Antarctica in that region). They consist of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, together with 776 smaller islands. Stanley, on East Falkland, is the capital. The islands are a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, but have been the subject of a claim to sovereignty by Argentina since the re-establishment of British rule in 1833.

In pursuit of this claim in 1982, the islands were invaded by Argentina, precipitating the two-month-long undeclared Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom, which resulted in the defeat and withdrawal of Argentine forces. Since the war, there has been strong economic growth in both fisheries and tourism. The inhabitants of the islands are full British citizens (since a 1983 Act) and under Argentine Law are eligible for Argentine citizenship. Many trace their origins on the islands to early 19th-century Scottish immigration. The islands' residents reject the Argentine sovereignty claim

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