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The Falkland Islands are an archipelago located in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 310 mi (500 kilometres) east of the Patagonian coast at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago which has an area of 4,700 sq mi (12,173 square kilometres) comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British Overseas Territory, the islands enjoy a large degree of internal self-governance with the United Kingdom guaranteeing good government and taking responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The islands' capital is Stanley on East Falkland.Controversy exists over the Falklands' original discovery and subsequent colonisation by Europeans. At various times, the islands have had French, British, Spanish, and Argentine settlements. Britain re-established its rule in 1833, though the islands continue to be claimed by Argentina. In 1982, following Argentina's invasion of the islands, the two-month-long undeclared Falklands War between both countries resulted in the surrender of all Argentine forces and the return of the islands to British administration.

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