Britain rules out talks on Falklands

Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:14 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Britain dismissed talks with Argentina on the Falkland Islands Wednesday after the Argentinean leader said she would file a complaint with the United Nations.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said her government would complain formally to the U.N. Security Council about British "militarization" of the dispute, which erupted into a 10-week war in 1982 over rival claims of sovereignty, The New York Times reported.

A British Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement: "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 on sovereignty unless the islanders wish it."

Fernandez's accusations Tuesday came after Britian's Prince William arrived on the islands last week as an air force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot deployed in his first overseas military tour.

Britain also announced it would dispatch one of its most advanced destroyers to the islands, in what Argentina has taken as a display of military force on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Argentine invasion that led to the war, the Times said.

Fernandez said in a speech Tuesday that it was hard not to interpret the moves as anything but a demonstration of military strength, local media reports said. She characterized Britain's actions as a "militarization of the South Atlantic, which implies a great risk for international security."

Argentina calls the Falklands the Malvinas and maintains Britain stole the islands nearly 180 years ago.

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