Argentina claims right to stop British ships near Falklands

25th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Argentina Monday told Britain it has a right under international maritime law to stop ships between its mainland and the Falkland Islands, as a row over Britain's oil prospecting in the disputed archipelago grew.

Britain last week complained the restrictions on shipping between Argentina and the South Atlantic islands imposed late last month were illegal.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry, in a note to British Ambassador Shan Morgan, said Monday the new "norms regulate coastal shipping between Argentine ports, and as such, comply with maritime law."

Argentina claims rightful sovereignty over the Falkland Islands -- named Malvinas in Latin America -- that were colonized by Britain in the early 19th century. Both nations went to war in 1982 over the archipelago, which afterward remained under British rule.

Argentina has ratcheted up it claims of sovereignty over the Falklands after a British firm began drilling for oil there in February.

© 2010 AFP

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