UK condemns Buenos Aires British embassy attacks

 

The Government has condemned violent protesters who attacked the British Embassy in Buenos Aires on the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.

Several hundred demonstrators pelted police officers with homemade fire-bombs and threw rocks and flaming bottles towards the embassy as a series of events were held in both Argentina and the UK yesterday to commemorate the 1982 conflict.

Television footage showed riot police using a water cannon to disperse the group of extremists who had earlier set fire to a Union Jack flag and an effigy of the Duke of Cambridge in protest against the British rule of the islands.

The violence came after Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner stoked the diplomatic battle between Buenos Aires and London by describing the UK's control over the Falkland Islands as unjust.

However, David Cameron said he remained committed to upholding British sovereignty over the territory and insisted that the islanders must be allowed to choose their nationality status.

Argentina's complaints - including to the United Nations - of "militarisation" by the UK will be heightened by the deployment tomorrow of the Navy's most advanced warship for its maiden operation.

Destroyer HMS Dauntless will set sail from Portsmouth for the Falklands in what the The Ministry of Defence says is a "pre-planned and routine" six-month deployment in the South Atlantic.

It comes after Argentinian hackles were raised by the "provocative" six-week deployment of Prince William to the islands as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.

The Foreign Office condemned "the violent actions of a minority" following yesterday's demonstration.

It said in a statement: "All states are obliged under the Vienna Convention to provide appropriate protection for foreign diplomatic missions.

"We expect the Argentine Government to continue to fulfil its obligations under the convention and continue fully to enforce the law against any demonstrators committing criminal acts."

A total of 255 UK serviceman were killed in retaking the remote South Atlantic islands, while 649 Argentinians lost their lives in the conflict.

In the UK, war widows attended a service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum's Millennium Chapel to mark the 30th anniversary. A single candle was lit and will be left alight for the 74 days of the conflict.

In Argentina however Ms Kirchner used the commemorations to make a renewed push to wrest back control of the islands, describing Britain's stance as "ridiculous and absurd".

She called for talks on ending the "unjust" situation - something London has ruled out for as long as no change is demanded by the islanders themselves.

Mr Cameron - who like Ms Kirchner included the enemy dead in his anniversary message - insisted Britain was no less committed now than in 1982 to protecting the right to self-determination.

"Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future," he said.

"That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago: and that is the principle which we solemnly re-affirm today."

It was, he said, "a day to remember all those who lost their lives" on both sides as well as to "salute the heroism of the Task Force" sent to correct a "profound wrong".

His words were echoed by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond - who also dismissed warnings from former military chiefs that the UK would be unable to defend the islands from a new invasion.

"We will defend them robustly, we have the assets, the people, the equipment in place to do so," he said in response to comments by the man who led the task force, Admiral Sir John Woodward.

The lack of an aircraft carrier would make a repeat impossible, the ex-Navy chief told The Times.

Mr Hammond noted however that there was "not the slightest intelligence to suggest that there is any credible military threat to the Falklands".

Spurred on by the discovery of oil reserves off the Falklands, Ms Kirchner has spearheaded an intense reassertion of Argentina's claim over what it calls Las Malvinas.

It has secured the support of other South American countries for a ban on Falkland-flagged ships in their ports and is seeking to restrict flights as part of an economic squeeze.

At the weekend, it threatened legal action against British and American banks involved in advising UK companies exploring for oil.

Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has led a push to improve UK trade and other links with South America, described Argentina's recent aggressive actions as "deeply regrettable".

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering