Foreign relations of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands


Foreign relations of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

The foreign relations of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are managed by the UK Foreign Office. There is no native population on any of the islands, and the only inhabitants are the British Government Officer, scientists, and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who maintain scientific bases at Bird Island and at the capital, King Edward Point, as well as museum staff at nearby Grytviken. Consequently, there is no legislative council and no elections are held within this territory.

Territorial dispute

Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1938. From 1905 the Argentine Meteorological Office cooperated in maintaining the meteorological observatory at Grytviken under the British lease requirements of the whaling station until these changed in 1949. Argentina maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the United Kingdom, and briefly occupied South Georgia in 1982. The Argentine claim over SGSSI contributed to the 1982 Falklands War and remains unresolved to this day.


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