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October 12, 2010
Argentina protests British war games in Falkland Islands

Argentina has protested London's plan to hold military exercises in the British-controlled Falkland Islands, a senior official has said.

Argentina will present to the UN a copy of the formal protest it conveyed to the British government.

'We will ask the UN secretary-general to distribute among the members of the organisation a copy of the protest to put on record this new violation of UN resolutions,' Argentina's envoy to the world body, Jorge Arguello told state news agency Telam.

The UN Special Committee on Decolonisation 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 Alberto D'Alotto said Saturday.

'Argentina expresses its most energetic protest and demands of the British government that it refrain from carrying out that military exercise,' he 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 wrote.

'Synthesis. Pirates, forever?' Fernandez said in the Twitter post.

The Falkland Islands may hold up to 60 billion barrels of crude oil, a report said.

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

Full-fledged fighting in the islands officially began May 1, 1982, with the arrival of a British 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.



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