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Argentina accuses UK of treating Falkands as 'last refuge of declining empire'

Buenos Aires , Sat, 11 Feb 2012 ANI

Buenos Aires, Feb 11(ANI): Argentina has claimed that Britain is treating the Falkland Islands as the "last refuge of a declining empire," as it urged the United Nations to stop the "militarisation" of the area.


Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman accused the United Kingdom of using Falklands citizens' desire to remain under British sovereignty as an excuse to set up military bases in the south Atlantic, The Telegraph reports.


"It is perhaps the last refuge of a declining power.The UK is using the unjust defence of self-detemination for 2,500 inhabitants as an excuse to become a military base.


He lodged an official protest at the UN over the dispatching the state-of-the-art warships and war planes by the UK in the region.


Timerman criticised David Cameron for recently accusing Argentina of acting like "colonialists.


Argentina also argued that military bases on the islands had been modernised to such an extent that they could be used to attack South America, including Brazil and Chile.


But Britain's ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant slammed such claims as "complete rubbish" and "manifestly absurd".


Grant also accused Argentina of using the 30th anniversary of the war to stir tensions over the issue of sovereignty.


"We are responsible for the security of the Falkland Islands and we will defend that robustly. Nothing has changed in our defence posture in recent months or recent years. The only thing that appears to have changed is the politics in Argentina," he added.


The UK stressed that its current military operations in the Falklands, including the inclusion of Prince William as part of an RAF search and rescue mission and the deployment of a Royal Navy destroyer to the region, are "entirely routine".


Tensions over the Falklands - which Argentina refer to as Las Malvinas - have been further fuelled by the discovery of possible oil fields in its territorial waters. (ANI)


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