Jeremy Browne alerts Argentina against Falklands’ politicization of London Olympics
In an interview to British newspaper Financial Times, United Kingdom’s Foreign Office Minister for South America, Jeremy Browne, alerted Argentina against the politicization of the London Olympics, set to begin on July 27th by bringing up claims over the Falklands.
The UK's government had previously expressed its fear Argentine athletes will use the games to call attention to the Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty cause.
“If the Argentines were minded to use the Olympics as a platform to try and make wider political points, or to sort of air, in an inappropriate way, their disagreements with Britain, I think that would be a mistake. I think it would be regrettable.”
Browne said, in addition, he expected no political statements will be made during the Olympics.
“We are very much hoping that Argentina and everybody else enjoys the Olympics as the magnificent spectacle that it is,” he stated diplomatically.
And added: “I think they appear to realise that at a political level. I don’t think their athletes ever saw it any differently. I think they want to compete; they want to enjoy what will be the pinnacle of their athletics careers.”
Last week, a British Sunday newspaper said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had received intelligence reports stating that Argentina “may try to exploit the event to attract global attention to its campaign for sovereignty over the (Malvinas) islands” at the Olympics.
Those reports, however, were disputed by President Cristina Fernández.
“We’re not stupid. We don’t need to use sport to stand up for our rights. We’ll defend our rights in appropriate forums, like the UN”, said the Argentine president in a recent ceremony to farewell the delegation that will compete in the London Games.
“Our (Falklands/Malvinas) rights we defend in the right forums. We are going to the Olympics to compete in sports, where we represent our flag and we don’t fall into silly things. You have to represent in English soil with great care and great pride, our homeland. And with more care than ever, if somebody tries to annoy you, to provoke you just keep going and give the example”, said the Argentine president.