UK denies 'militarisation' of Falklands

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A day of diplomatic tub-thumping ended with the release of a statement by the Foreign Office yesterday denying Argentinian allegations of attempts to "militarise" the South Atlantic as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict approaches.

"We are not militarising the South Atlantic. Our defensive posture in the Falkland Islands remains unchanged," a Foreign Office spokesman said. "The people of the Falklands choose to be British. Their right to self-determination is a principle that's enshrined in the UN Charter."

The Argentinian President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has announced that she intends to file a complaint with the UN over Britain's decision to send the destroyer HMS Dauntless to the islands, along with the Duke of Cambridge, who has arrived for a tour of duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot.

The alleged militarisation of the islands, "poses a grave danger to international security," President Kirchner said. "We cannot interpret in any other way the deployment of an ultra-modern destroyer accompanying the heir to the throne."