Argentina: William's Falklands deployment 'provocative'

11th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Argentina complained Friday that Prince William's six-week mission as a rescue pilot in the Falkland Islands, the object of a 1982 British-Argentine war, is "a provocative act."

William, second in Britain's royal line of succession, is due to be deployed in the disputed archipelago, known as the Malvinas in the Spanish-speaking world, early next year just ahead of the war's 30th anniversary.

"It is a provocative act that displays Britain's military presence in an area where there is no armed conflict," said Sebastian Brugo Marco, the Argentine foreign ministry's director for the Malvinas.

"One cannot ignore the political content of the military operation, keeping in mind that the prince is part of the royal family," he said in an interview published by the newspaper La Nacion.

The war over the remote islands erupted after they were seized by Argentine forces on April 2, 1982. It ended 74 days later with their rout by a British expeditionary force in a campaign that left 255 British and 649 Argentine dead.

The Royal Air Force said in a statement that the 29-year-old prince, a search and rescue pilot, "will complete a routine deployment to the Falkland Islands... during the period February to March 2012."

"This deployment forms part of a normal squadron crew rotation and will form part of Flight Lieutenant Wales' training and career progression as a Search and Rescue pilot within the RAF."

© 2011 AFP

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