3:34pm UK, Tuesday June 12, 2012
Britain has controlled the islands since 1833 but Argentina claims it inherited rights to them in 1863
The Falkland Islands are to hold a referendum on their "political status" in a bid to end the continuing dispute with Argentina over their sovereignty.
The vote will be held in 2013, the Falklands government said.
The announcement comes amid increasing tensions between Britain and Argentina over the disputed territory, which the South American country calls Las Malvinas.
Britain has controlled the islands since 1833, but Argentina claims it inherited rights to them from Spain upon its declaration of independence in 1863.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "The British Government has been consistent in its view that the future of the Falklands can only be determined by the people who live there.
"So the Prime Minister and I support this initiative to demonstrate - without doubt - the definitive view of the Falkland Islands people.
"In a region that rightly prizes democracy and human rights, it is entirely appropriate that the Islanders can express this fundamental right. The principle of self-determination is a key part of the United Nations charter.
"The voice of the Falkland Islands people should be heard. I hope very much that Argentina, and indeed the whole of the international community, joins the UK in listening carefully to what they have to say."
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