UK-Argentina in Falklands tests row

Britain's planned military exercises on Falkland Islands "unacceptable", Argentina's deputy foreign minister says.

    Britain recently began oil exploration around Falkland Islands, stoking old tensions with Argentina

    The Argentinian government has condemned a planned British military exercise in the Falkland Islands, and accused the UK of stoking tensions in the disputed archipelago.

    Alberto D'Aloto, Argentina's deputy foreign minister, said the plan was an "unacceptable provocation" in a letter of complaint sent to the British ambassador in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

    He also demanded that the exercises, of which Britain informed Argentina last week, be cancelled.

    Nearly 30 years after the two countries fought a war over control of the British-ruled islands, tensions have increased since British companies started searching for oil and gas in the seas around them earlier this year.

    "The Argentine government expresses its formal and energetic protest to this planned military exercise and demands the British government refrain from carrying it out," D'Alotto said, reading from the letter.

    Cristina Fernandez, Argentina's president, condemned the plan via her Twitter account, saying it represented "a militarisation of the South Atlantic".

    In 1982, Britain sent a naval force and thousands of troops to reclaim the islands after Argentine forces occupied them. About 650 Argentines and 255 British troops died in the 10-week conflict.

    Britain has a permanent military presence on the islands, called Las Malvinas in Argentina, and maintains a force of 1,076 troops and four ships in the region.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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