Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Britain ups rhetoric over Falklands

Source: Press TV

The British government has threatened to use force to consolidate its claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands irrespective of how Argentina would respond.

Defence Secretary, Liam Fox was responding to comments made by Argentine president Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, in which she branded Britain "a crass colonial power in decline".

"Those in politics on the other side of the world can huff and puff but it will not change our resolve politically to retain the independence and the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands nor to come to their defence and to maintain deterrence as best we can”, Fox said.

"We have Typhoons already stationed there. We have a very clear message that we have both the naval power if necessary, and certainly an intent to ensure that the Falkland Islands are kept free and their people enjoy the liberation we fought so hard for 30 years ago", he added.

The rhetoric is yet another sign of growing hostilities between London and Buenos Aires over the issue of the Falklands, known as the Malvinas in Argentina.

Buenos Aires was boosted by the news that the United States had joined with the Organisation of American States (OAS) to request Britain negotiate over the islands. Importantly, the resolution referred to the Malvinas rather than the Falklands.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell sought Prime Minister David Cameron's assurance that "negotiations over the Falkland Islands with Argentina will never be acceptable to Her Majesty's government".

"As long as the Falkland Islands want to be sovereign British territory, they should remain sovereign British territory-full stop, end of story". Cameron replied.

That comment, given in the middle of a stormy PMQs session, earned a stern rebuke from the Argentine leader, who accused Cameron of "mediocrity bordering on stupidity".

"In the 21st century, Britain continues to be a crass colonial power in decline because colonialism is outdated and unjust”, she added.

"It's ridiculous to hold sovereignty of something that's 14,000 kilometres away", said Kirchner.

Former PM Margaret Thatcher won huge political support after she committed Britain to retake the Falkland Islands in the 1982 war.

Defence cuts nearly three decades later have led to concerns that Cameron may not have the option to repeat the defence now.

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