STANLEY, Falkland Islands, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The referendum being held Sunday and Monday by the Falkland Islanders about their political status has a "limited" legal value in the field of international law, an Argentine analyst said.
The referendum "will not change" the need for Argentina and Britain to sit down and negotiate the issue of sovereignty of the Falklands, known as the Malvinas Islands to the Argentine, international affairs expert Emilio Cardenas, Argentina's former ambassador to the United Nations, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
He said the referendum is a "smokescreen whose result is already known" as "British citizens will be consulted on if they want to remain British."
Local administration of the Falklands, which is pro-British, announced last June that a referendum would be held to define its political status, which is currently a "British overseas territory".
The referendum, which will be held among a total of 1649 voters out of 2932 residents, is considered "illegal" by the Argentine government, which calls for negotiation with London.
"They think that with this they can strengthen their position" to silence the arguments Argentina wields in the sovereignty dispute, said Cardenas.
The analyst, critic of the administration led by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, however coincided with the government's arguments used by Buenos Aires to reject the referendum in the Falklands.
"The right to self-determination of the people that the islanders wield is a fundamental principle of contemporary international law, but its application yields to the principle that protects the territorial integrity of a state," he said.
Argentina considers that the Falkland Islands are part of its territory, snatched away by London when a military invasion took place in 1833.
Britain and the island inhabitants however argue that the archipelago was uninhabited and that Argentina agreed to their presence during the second half of the nineteenth century.
Cardenas noted that the inhabitants of the Malvinas "are not indigenous or colonized, but British population imported from the UK", in consequence lacking the right to self-determination.
"The result of the vote is already accounted for, and no matter the result, there will not be big changes in the relationship between Argentina, the UK and the international community. Both states, are the ones that should sit down and discuss the issue of sovereignty" of the archipelago, the analyst argued.
On the legal value of the referendum, Cardenas emphasized that it is "limited".
"Surely they will want to explain to the world the outcome and importance of those results, but its effects are limited, as Argentina and the United Kingdom are the only ones that can resolve the dispute, which is of the territorial sovereignty," he said.
When asked why London supports the islanders in their initiative, Cardenas said: "the Antarctic projection, which has enormous strategic importance to the UK."
In the case of the white continent, currently there are overlapping sovereignty claims from Britain, Argentina and Chile.