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  HOME | Argentina

Argentina Protests Britain’s Planned War Games in Falklands

BUENOS AIRES – Argentina will present to the United Nations a copy of the formal protest Buenos Aires conveyed to the British government over London’s plans to hold military exercises in the disputed Falkland Islands, Ambassador Jorge Argüello said Monday.

“We will ask U.N. secretary-general (Ban Ki-moon) to distribute among the members of the organization a copy of the protest to put on record this new violation of United Nations resolutions,” Argentina’s envoy to the world body told state news agency Telam.

“And we will insist on the task with which the U.N. General Assembly has already charged him (Ban), which is to carry forward this action of good offices aimed at the opening of bilateral negotiations about sovereignty,” Argüello said.

The U.N. Special Committee on Decolonization issued a resolution in 1965 urging London and Buenos Aires to negotiate the future of the Falklands, but Britain refuses to discuss the question of sovereignty over the South Atlantic archipelago that Latin Americans call the Malvinas.

The quarrel dates from 1833, when Britain occupied the islands, and sparked a brief but bloody war in 1982.

Britain “cannot refuse to negotiate sovereignty,” the Argentine diplomat said. “Moreover, it cannot unilaterally grant fishing permits in conflict waters, cannot explore or exploit minerals and petroleum on disputed territory, or conduct missile exercises.”

The Argentine navy was notified by Britain about the planned missile tests in the Falklands, Argentina’s deputy foreign minister said Saturday.

“Argentina expresses its most energetic protest and demands of the British government that it refrain from carrying out that military exercise,” Alberto D’Alotto said.

Hours later, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said on Twitter that she ordered the foreign ministry to summon British Ambassador Shan Morgan to receive a formal protest.

“Typical 19th-century colonialism. Anachronistic use of force, violating International Law. They don’t care. Clear example of double standards,” the Argentine leader said of Britain’s stance.

“Synthesis. Pirates, forever?” Fernandez said in a subsequent Twitter post.

Relations between Argentina and Britain have been tense since early this year due to oil exploration by British companies in the disputed islands.

Britain has rejected an offer by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to promote a dialogue between London and Buenos Aires on the islands.

The Falkland Islands may hold up to 60 billion barrels of crude oil, the British press reported.

Argentine troops invaded the Falklands on April 2, 1982, at the order of the military junta then in power in Buenos Aires.

Full-fledged fighting in the islands officially began on May 1, 1982, with the arrival of a British task force, and ended 45 days later with the surrender of the Argentines.

The conflict claimed nearly 1,000 lives – some 700 Argentines and 255 British soldiers and sailors. EFE

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