The UK Foreign Office summoned Argentine Ambassador Alicia Castro to object recent remarks regarding the Falkland Islands by President Cristina Fernandez and the diplomat based in London. An FCO spokesperson said that Britain has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and surrounding maritime areas, nor about the Falkland Islanders' right to decide their own future.
We object strongly to recent statements by the Argentine president and the Argentine ambassador to London, and so summoned the ambassador to account for these, said the spokesman, clarifying that Castro was summoned on Wednesday.
The spokesman added that Britain has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and surrounding maritime areas, nor about the Falkland Islanders' right to decide their own future and develop their economy and resources.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and Ambassador Alicia Castro criticized London's recent decision to invest 180 million pounds to boost Falkland defenses over the next 10 years, announced only a few weeks before the upcoming U.K. general elections on May 7.
Marking the 33rd anniversary of the start of the 1982 Falklands' conflict, Cristina Fernandez urged the British government to not put a pound into military spending to defend the Falklands, and requested the funds to be used to feed Englishmen instead. She also insisted that we will once again see the islands form part of our territory.
Likewise, Alicia Castro wrote in The Independent newspaper that David Cameron is trying to raise the specter of 1982 in order to reawaken the figure of Margaret Thatcher, who gained a tremendous electoral boost from that war.
Part of the defense upgrade will include returning two Chinooks helicopters, expected to be operational by the middle of the year after they were sent to Afghanistan, and modernizing air defense systems, among other measures.
Helicopters can react immediately to any emergency incident, and can help facilitate infantry training on the Falklands, a government statement explained.
Cristina Fernandez's administration has campaigned strongly is all world forums in support of Argentina's sovereignty claims over the Falklands/Malvinas, even when in March 2013, nearly 100% of the Islanders voted in favor of maintaining British sovereignty and remaining as a British Overseas Territory.
In the latest exchange, the Argentine government said it had taken legal action in a local court against three British and two US companies for carrying out exploration activities for fossil fuels on the Argentine continental shelf without obtaining the corresponding authorization.
The companies listed in the complaint are British firms Rockhopper Exploration, Premier Oil and Falkland Oil and Gas Limited and US firms Noble Energy and Edison International.
Argentina said the companies had sent a semi-submersible rig to explore for oil in a basin 200 kilometers off the islands' north coast, in what it described as areas subjected to the illegitimate British occupation.
It also warned the rig's owner, Greece-based firm Ocean Rig, that it could face legal consequences over the drilling.