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".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne celebrates after salvaging a point with the Southampton equaliser
footballAston Villa vs Southampton report
News
peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Life and Style
fashion'To start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?'
News
news
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

Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor

£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...

Argyll Scott International: Risk Assurance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Ashdown Group: IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible