THE ACTOR SEAN Penn has become the latest public figure to have his say on the ongoing dispute surrounding the Falkland Islands.
The Oscar-winning star said that Britain and Argentina should open negotiations over the distribution of natural resources around the South Atlantic islands and discuss immigration, in an op-ed in the Guardian today.
Britain and Argentina have renewed old tensions over the tiny islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, nearly 30-years after they fought a ten-week wear in which hundreds died on both sides following the Argentine invasion of the islands.
Officially classed as a British Overseas Territory, the 3,000 or so islanders themselves predominantly wish to maintain the status quo. Penn believes Britain should help Argentinians to move to the Falklands.
“The very people who suffered and fought most enduringly against this military junta in Argentina are the ones who today lead that country, and on behalf of their people seek simply a fair and re-established diplomacy in issues of the disputed islands ranging from immigration to natural resources,” he writes.
Penn, who also acts as ambassador at large for the Haitian government, had previously criticised Britain’s claim of sovereignty to the islands as “colonialist, ludicrous and archaic” but claims in today’s article that his remarks were distorted by the British media.
He is however critical of the deployment of Prince William, an RAF pilot, to the region as well as a Royal Navy destroyer ship, describing the moves as “pre-emptive intimidation.”
“The recognition that the diplomatic process of the 1970s gives to some of the legitimacy of Argentinian claims should not be dispelled or denied by the great United Kingdom through the exploitation of a more recent past, or for the greed of superpowers desperate to control the natural resources of the world. God save the Queen,” he concludes.