‘IT’S ILLEGAL’ Bitter Argentina tries to block British military tests in Falklands


In a desperate power grab set to breathe life into the country’s bitter war of words with the UK over the future of the islands, foreign minister Susana Malcorra whined the drills caused “deep anxiety” in the government. 

British troops will be deployed in the Falklands for “exercises with Rapier missiles” between October 19 and October 28. 

But Ms Malcorra said: “It causes pain and deep anxiety because it carries a presumption of a conflict hypothesis. 

“These exercises are a reiteration of a practice that is held every year. It is not new, but it is serious because Argentina has established in its Constitution to make claims within the frame of International Law. 

“We will see if we can start dialogue to eliminate presumptions of conflict.”

In “a strong note of protest”, deputy foreign minister Carlos Foradori later summoned the UK ambassador Mark Kent to express the “displeasure” of the Government. 

The letter threatened Britain that Argentina would “inform the Secretary General of the United Nations of the situation”.

Mr Foradori said: “I want to send a message to the UK. Leopoldo Galtieri (leader at the time of the Falklands War) is no longer President of Argentina. 

“Argentina has a president named Mauricio Macri who uses persuasion as a weapon and is open to dialogue.” 

Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced the UK’s desire for a new and positive phase of relations with Argentina. 

When quizzed on whether the drill will affect the joint statement between Argentina and the UK to boost a bilateral relationship, Mr Foradori said that “the two sides continue in the same situation.”

He added: ”We have reiterated in Congress that the statement is a roadmap. This does not alter our position. The two sides continue in the same situation.” 

Argentina and Britain went to war from April 2 to June 14, 1982, over the island”s sovereignty.

Since then the relationship has been fractious with decades of negotiations and stand offs. 

In 2013, a referendum asking whether the Falkland Islanders supported the continuation of their status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, prompted an almost unanimous response from the island”s inhabitants. 

On a turnout of 92 per cent, an overwhelming 99.8 per cent voted to remain a British territory, with only three votes against.

However, the political debate is now raging once again after the UK and Argentina entered into discussions over trade last month with the first official visit since 2009.