WE’LL DEFEND FALKLANDS VOWS PRIME MINISTER AS ARGENTINA THREATENS A TRADE WAR
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner
Monday April 2,2012
By Padraic Flanagan
DAVID Cameron last night paid tribute to the heroes of the Falklands War and vowed to defend the islands against any future Argentine threat.
In a statement released from Downing Street to mark today’s 30th anniversary of the conflict in the South Atlantic, the Prime Minister said: “Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future.
“That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago: and that is the principle which we solemnly re‑affirm today.”
However, Argentina marked the anniversary of its 1982 invasion by threatening a trade war with Britain.
The government in Buenos Aires has warned London-based banks over their involvement with five London-listed oil exploration companies.
The banks have received letters warning them of criminal and civil action in Argentina’s courts if they continue to assist the companies involved in the Falklands’ £1.6billion oil industry.
Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders
Those threatened with legal action by President Cristina Kirchner’s government are thought to include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.
Two-page letters are believed to have been sent to 15 banks by the Argentine embassy in London on March 20. The letters warn that even writing research reports on exploration companies would constitute “a violation of the applicable domestic and international rules”.
Attached to the letters is a series of legal declarations about the Falklands’ ownership, which is intended to warn off the banks from any further involvement.
And in a move certain to heighten tensions, the letter is headed by a tribute to the Argentine economist Manuel Belgrano, after whom the warship General Belgrano was named. She was sunk by British forces in 1982.
The letter, seen by journalists, highlights the sovereignty dispute over the Falklands, which it refers to as Las Malvinas, and shows how the Argentine government is continuing to press its claim.
None of the banks named chose to comment and the Argentine embassy did not return any calls.Mr Cameron said: “Thirty years ago today the people of the Falkland Islands suffered an act of aggression that sought to rob them of their freedom and their way of life. Today is a day for commemoration and reflection: a day to remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict – the members of our Armed Forces, as well as the Argentinian personnel who died. Today, we salute the heroism of the Task Force which set sail to free the islands.
“We are rightly proud of the role Britain played in righting a profound wrong. And the people of the Falkland Islands can be justly proud of the prosperous and secure future they have built for their islands since 1982.”