UK & World News

  • 12 April 2014, 9:28

Falklands 'Show Of Force' Angers Argentina

Britain has been accused of planning a "show of force" in the Falkland Islands as it prepares for military exercises next week.

The diplomatic clash has seen the British ambassador in Buenos Aires summoned by Argentina's Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Zuain in protest.

The exercises are due to take place between April 14 and April 27.

A spokesman for the Embassy of Argentina in London said: "This action falls within a pattern already denounced by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on 2 April, consisting of provocations and hostile acts towards Argentina from an extra-continental nuclear power.

"Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Zuain has summoned the British ambassador in Buenos Aires to hand him a letter of protest in view of this new show of military force in the South Atlantic, a zone of peace.

"This action is a new example of UK's disregard for United Nations resolutions, which call on both parties to resume negotiations over sovereignty and refrain from introducing unilateral modifications in the situation as long as the dispute persists."

The military exercises are the latest in a series of diplomatic disputes since President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner took power in Argentina.

In December, Britain accused Argentina of "bullying tactics" over its threat to punish oil firms operating off the Falklands Islands with heavy fines and other penalties.

In a referendum last year, Islanders voted by 1,513 votes to three in favour of remaining British.

Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time that the referendum result "could not have sent a clearer message".