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Royal member and minister to visit Falklands next June

Monday, January 22nd 2007 - 20:00 UTC
Full article

Britain's Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office confirmed that the Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram and a member of the Royal Family will be visiting the Falkland Islands next June as part of the 25th commemoration of the South Atlantic conflict and thus rebutting an article from The Observer.

Foreign Office Falkland Islands Desk Officer Simon Rawson revealed the content of a letter of rebuttal from Under Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans Derek Twigg who describes as "entirely inaccurate" claims in an article by the Observer, 21 January 2007 that there would be no Ministerial or Royal attendance at commemorative events on the Islands next June. Mr Twigg says that the article "Royal family set to stay away from celebrations", dated January 21 "is misleading, and completely unfounded". "Contrary to the claim in your article, I will be traveling to the Falkland Islands as part of the South Atlantic Medal Association (1982) pilgrimage in November. It is absolutely appropriate that, as Minister for Veterans, I visit the Falklands with the veterans to whom we owe such a debt of gratitude". "Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister, will be visiting the Islands to take part in the main commemorations in June along with a member of the Royal Family. Senior members of the Royal Family, other Ministers and myself will be alongside veterans in London at the centerpiece of the commemorations to mark the 25th Anniversary on Horse Guards Parade on Sunday 17 June". "It is right that we mark this important anniversary in an appropriate manner and remember the 255 British Servicemen who died and the contribution to the campaign made by thousand of other members of the Armed Forces and civilian staff. We are working closely with representatives of the veterans' groups and the Falkland Islands Government on these events", signed Derek Twigg. According to the Sunday article in the Observer "The ministry of Defence and Buckingham Palace have confirmed they are not sending a minister or senior representative to the Falkland Islands to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the war against Argentina. This has infuriated forces veterans, who view the move as a failure to acknowledge a campaign in which 255 British troops died, almost a third more than the casualties sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan combined". Further on the article states that MoD said the archipelago's 'unpleasant' and 'chilly' weather during the summer had meant they had decided not to send veterans' minister Derek Twigg. "He will stay 8,000 miles away in London". "The absence of the Royal family at anniversary events planned for the islands' capital, Port Stanley, has particularly distressed some veterans, given that the Duke of York saw active service as a Sea King helicopter pilot during the conflict".

Categories: Politics, Falkland Islands.

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