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Argentina Slams UK Over Military Boost In The Falklands

Argentina Slams UK Over Military Boost In The Falklands

Britains decision to boost its military presence by sending extra Chinook helicopters and a new missile system to the Malvinas Islands (Falklands) has been called a “provocation” and pre-election stunt by Argentina.

“This business from Great Britain is a provocation, not just to Argentina but also to the United Nations,” Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said on Wednesday, referring to Britain’s so-called defense initiative over the Malvinas Islands.

Press TV report: On Tuesday, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon announced a £180-million (USD 268 million) package over 10 years to counter Argentina’s “continuous intimidation” in the disputed South Atlantic islands.

Meanwhile, Timerman said on Wednesday that Buenos Aires would file a formal complaint with the UN and the Decolonization Committee, which adopted a resolution calling on Britain to negotiate with Argentina on the islands’ status.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner’s cabinet chief, Anibal Fernandez, has also criticized the new defense plan, saying it is less about Argentine threats than a cheap British nationalism campaign ahead of general elections on May 7.

Britain argues the islanders should decide themselves whether to remain under the British rule. In a 2013 referendum, 99.8 percent voted to remain a British territory.

The London-backed vote, however, has been challenged by Argentina as a British maneuver lacking legal value.

The Malvinas Islands were declared part of the British overseas territories when the UK established its colonial rule on the islands in 1833. Argentina and Britain fought a bloody war in 1982 over the islands.

Buenos Aires says Britain forcibly stripped Argentina of the islands and has been occupying the territory since then.