Argentina to lodge Falklands protest at UN Friday

9th February 2012, Comments 0 comments

Argentina will officially lodge a protest against Britain's "militarization" of the disputed Falklands islands with the United Nations on Friday, officials said.

A report to be handed to top UN officials will accuse Britain of violating some 40 UN resolutions seeking to resolve the dispute, the Argentine foreign ministry said Thursday.

Foreign Minister Hector Timerman will hand the complaint to Togo ambassador Kodjo Menan, who currently presides over the Security Council, and he will also report personally to UN chief Ban Ki-moon as well as other senior UN officials.

Timerman will present "Argentina's condemnation of the militarization which Britain is undertaking in the Malvinas (Falklands) in the South Atlantic," the statement added.

Tensions have been rising between the two former foes as the 30th anniversary of the brief but bloody Falklands War approaches on April 2.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said on Tuesday she would make a formal protest to the United Nations over Britain's "militarization" of the row.

But Britain dismissed the threat saying that it would not negotiate and that the UN charter backed its position.

Britain is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and could automatically veto any attempt at a resolution on the issue.

"The UK has no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falklands," a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP. "The principle of self-determination, as set out in the UN Charter, underlies our position."

Britain has held the islands, home to about 3,000 inhabitants, since 1833.

Argentina has in recent weeks denounced the deployment of a British warship to the south Atlantic and the dispatch of Prince William, second in line to the throne, for a tour of duty as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.

It has been backed in its position by neighboring Latin American nations which have agreed to close their ports to any ships flying the Falklands flag.

The Falklands War broke out on April 2, 1982, when the ruling military junta in Buenos Aires invaded in a bid to end British rule.

The 74-day war cost the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British troops and three Falkland Islanders, but Britain retained control.

© 2012 AFP

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