This process dragged on for a decade, during which Argentina's brutal 'Dirty War' gave Islanders more reason for concern.
In Argentina, military troops had prepared to battle Chile for rights to islands in Tierra del Fuego. Shots were never fired, but General Leopoldo Galtieri, facing pressure from Argentines fed up with corruption, economic chaos and totalitarian ruthlessness, decided to take advantage of the situation and sent the military to invade the Falklands on April 2, 1982. Seizure of the Islands briefly united Argentina, but Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain, herself in shaky political circumstances, sent a naval task force to retake the territory. Experienced British ground troops routed illtrained, poorly supplied Argentine conscripts; Argentina's surrender averted Stanley's destruction.
Relations between the two countries remain cool, although the joint statement
issued by the United Kingdom, Falkland Island and Argentine Government on July 14, 1999, promises closer cooperation on areas of mutual interest, such as fisheries Gold and hydrocarbon exploration. A scheduled were air link has now been established via San Chile, and immigration restrictions on Argentines relaxed.