The British government has said it is a source of ”sadness and frustrated” that Argentina decided to turn away British tourists wishing to visit Argentina as a result of the ongoing row over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.
Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne told MPs on Tuesday afternoon that Britain made frequent presentations to Argentina and other countries in the region to lift the ban on Falkland Islands flagged ships from docking in their ports.
It is a source of sadness and frustration to us that people who are on holiday and wanting to further relations between ourselves and Argentina on a person to person basis are not being able to do so he said.
Browne told the House of Commons that the UK approached Argentina in the spirit of friendship and it was a source of sadness that they did not always do the same.
Over the weekend two British cruise ships were refused entry to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, extreme south of Argentina, a normal call for vessels touring the southern tip of the South American continent.
The P&O Cruises' ship Adonia and the Princess Cruises' vessel Star Princess were not allowed to dock at Ushuaia. Both vessels, part of the Carnival company cruise fleet, had called at the Falklands on Saturday.
Carnival affiliate P&O reported Argentine authorities in Ushuaia said the reason for denying access to the cruise vessels was the fact they had been previously in the Falkland Islands.
Browne, who is due to visit the Falklands as part of the ceremony to mark 30 years since their liberation from Argentine occupation, was responding to questions from Labour shadow foreign minister John Speller, who said the move was outrageous and completely unjustified.
MP Speller demanded that the government of PM David Cameron make a formal complaint to Buenos Aires and before the International Maritime Organization.
Buenos Aires has reacted angrily in past months to a round of oil exploration in Falklands’ waters and in recent weeks to the deployment of an advanced Royal Navy ship to the region, as well as the decision to send Prince William to the islands as a RAF search and rescue pilot.
Following the debate in the Commons, the Foreign Office sent a supportive tweet to a Falkland Islands based Twitter account, informing them that the British government took the issue seriously.