BUENOS AIRES – Argentine foreign ministry has accused the British government of using the Falkland Islands issue to justify its higher defense spending and said that dialogue and negotiation, and not arms, were the only means to resolve the sovereignty dispute over the Islands between the two nations.
“In addition to being highly implausible, it is absolutely unjustified to rake up the ghost of a supposed ‘Argentine threat’ to increase British military budget and consolidate the growing militarization of the islands,” said the ministry in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement is in response to Britain’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon’s announcement allocating $268 million over the next 10 years towards strengthening and modernizing the islands’ defense infrastructure in the face of any “threat” from Argentina.
“Such huge funds should be used to benefit the British people, to fight unemployment, improve education and healthcare and expand social inclusion. They can no longer continue deceiving British citizens and taxpayers, raking up the ghosts of the past,” declared the Argentine ministry.
It further said that David Cameron’s government “is deliberately ignoring that the search for a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute is a state policy of a solid Argentine democracy.”
The statement also echoed the views of several British parliamentarians who have condemned the warmongering on London’s part and stressed on the need for a dialogue with Argentina and Latin America.
The ministry urged the British government to “sit at the negotiating table as established by more than 40 UN resolutions and numerous declarations by regional organizations such as the Union of South American Nations, the Southern Common Market or Mercosur, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, making the Falkland Islands issue a Latin American cause.”
Argentina claims sovereignty over what the South American Nation call “Islas Malvinas,” situated in the southern Atlantic Ocean, which have been in British hands since 1883.
London refuses to discuss the islands’ political status, contending that the archipelago’s residents are the only ones who can determine the territory’s future.
In 2013, Falklands residents voted to remain British in a referendum that has not been recognized by the international community.
Argentine troops invaded the Falklands on April 2, 1982.
United Kingdom and Argentina went to war, that lasted until June 1982, resulting in the deaths of 255 British, three Islanders and 649 Argentines. It ended with the surrender of Argentine troops.