Argentina’s president accuses Britain of “militarising” the row over the Falkland Islands, and announces plans to complain to the United Nations.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said the UK’s decision to send one of its most modern navy warships to the South Atlantic and to post the Duke of Cambridge on military duty in the region posed a risk to “international security”.
Her announcement comes during the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Falklands war.
In a speech to Falkland war veterans and other politicians at Argentina‘s presidential residence yesterday, Ms Kirchner said: “I have instructed our chancellor to present formally to the security council of the United Nations and before the general assembly of the United Nations, this militarisation of the South Atlantic which implies a great risk for international security.”
The UK government responded by insisting that it would not enter into negotiations over the sovereignty of the disputed islands.
“The people of the Falkland Islands are British out of choice. They are free to determine their own future and there will be no negotiations with Argentina over sovereignty unless the islanders wish it,” said a Foreign Office spokesman.
The move by President Fernandez follows a series of disputes between the two countries in recent months.
It is an anachronism that in the 21st Century that there are still colonies: there are only 16 cases (of colonisation) in the whole world, 10 of them are English. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
In December, the Mercosur grouping of countries – which includes Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay – announced that it would ban ships sailing under the Falkland Islands flag from docking at their ports.
Prime Minister David Cameron accused the Buenos Aires administration of “colonialism”.
Prince William last week began his six-week posting as an RAF search and rescue pilot in the Falklands region.
The government also revealed it will send one of its newest destroyers, HMS Dauntless, to the South Atlantic.
Ms Fernandez said in her speech that it was difficult to see how “the sending of an immense and modern destroyer accompanied by the Royal heir who we would have liked to see in civilian clothes and not in military uniform” was not a show of purposeful military strength by the UK.
She said the Argentinian people “have suffered too much violence” and are not attracted to war.
Ms Fernandez made it clear that the she believes the British are occupying the Falklands, saying: “It is an anachronism that in the 21st Century that there are still colonies: there are only 16 cases (of colonisation) in the whole world, 10 of them are English.”