Princess Anne’s Falklands trip sparks Argentinian rant against UK’s ‘colonial presence’

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The remote archipelago is a British overseas colony – but Buenos Aires has never relinquished its claim.

Princess Anne plants tree in Memorial Wood

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Argentina’s hardline Malvinas minister has launched a bitter tirade against what he termed Britain’s “colonial presence” in the South Atlantic after Princess Anne’s recent visit to the Falkland Islands. And Guillermo Carmona claimed the Royal visit took place “without warning”, accusing the UK Government of “discourtesy”.

Meanwhile the country’s Foreign Ministry has urged the UK to resume sovereignty negotiations, accusing it of being in breach of several United Nations resolutions.

The Princess Royal and husband Vice Admiral Tim Laurence arrived for a five-day visit to the islands on Friday, meeting members of the Legislative Assembly and attending several receptions for local community members.

Two days later, Mr Carmona, who is Secretary for Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic, took to social media to voice his displeasure, tweeting: “Princess Anne, of the British Royal Family, arrived in Argentina without warning.

Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Tim Laurence during their visit (Image: Royal UK)

Princess Anne speaks to crowds in the Falklands capital, Stanley (Image: Royal UK)

“Her country is in breach of international law with its colonial presence in the South Atlantic, contrary to UN resolutions and world outcry. Perhaps that explains the discourtesy.”

He added: “It is time for the United Kingdom to comply with Resolution 2065/1965, Resolution 37/9 of November 1982 and the other resolutions of the UNGA and the UN Decolonization Committee.”

Reluctance to do so “showed a lack of commitment to international law”, he claimed.

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Princess Anne pays her respects at the Blue Beach military cemetery (Image: Royal UK)

Mr Carmona yesterday retweeted a similar statement issued by the Argentinian foreign ministry which said: “Argentina rejects the official activities of Princess Anne, of the British Royal House, in the Malvinas Islands.

“The activity occurs in exercise of the British illegal occupation in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime spaces.”

The statement continued: “Our country once again calls on the United Kingdom to resume bilateral negotiations in compliance with resolution 2065 and other resolutions of the General Assembly and its Special Committee on Decolonization.

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Guillermo Carmona, Argentina’s Malvinas minister (Image: GETTY)

Guillermo Carmona’s tweet (Image: Twitter)

“It is time for the United Kingdom to comply with the international community’s mandate and put an end to the anachronistic colonial situation in those archipelagos, which are an integral part of the Argentine Republic.”

Argentina invaded the Falklands on April 2, 1982, prompting then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to dispatch a military task force to reclaim them, which it did after a three-month war which claimed almost 1,000 British and Argentinian lives.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez used his speech at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) in September to push his country’s claim.

Falklands factfile (Image: Express)

He said: “We request the Secretary General to renew his efforts to fulfil this mandate and that the United Kingdom agrees to hear the call of the international community and put an end to this anachronistic colonial situation.”

He also reaffirmed what he called his country’s “legitimate and imprescriptible sovereignty rights” over the islands, as well as South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.

Mr Fernandez further accused Britain of “aggravating the dispute” with an “unjustified and excessive military presence on the iMrslands” and with “calls for the illegal exploitation of resources”.

Prince Philip visited the Falklands twice (Image: Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust)

During the course of her trip, the Princess visited the Mount Pleasant base for British Forces South Atlantic Islands as well as laying wreaths at various sites to mark the 40th Anniversary of the 1982 Conflict.

She also visited the Historical Dockyard Museum 1982 conflict Exhibition, followed by a walking tour of Stanley and the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate city status being granted to Stanley.

In touring the island, she followed in the footsteps of her late father, Prince Philip, who visited there himself in 1957 and 1991.

In one picture, taken 65 years ago, the Duke is shown with children at Stanley’s infant and junior school, while in another, he is shown taking part in a horse race with other islanders, which he won.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)

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