Argentina is slamming Prince William's deployment to the Falklands. Some Argentine veterans say the move is aggressive and arrogant, but most residents on the islands are preparing to welcome the Prince. ITN's Bill Neely reports.
British officials accuse Argentina of attempting to blockade the Falkland Islands by stopping the only air link to the chain of isles from South America, according to a UK media report.
Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in the past has threatened to stop the weekly flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Port Stanley, the only city in the Falkland Islands. The flight is run by Chilean airline LAN and is a vital economic link to Britons living on the Falklands.
An unnamed senior British diplomat told the Guardian in a story published on Wednesday that the move to stop the flight is likely to come soon. Even if the airline resisted Argentine pressure to ground the flights, Argentina would prohibit use of its airspace, officials said.
"If the LAN Chile flight is cancelled, it would be pretty difficult to resist the already credible thesis that there is an economic blockade of the civilian population of the Falklands," the diplomat told the Guardian.
Buenos Aires and London have been locked in a war of words on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the war between Argentina and Britain. In that conflict, Argentina's invasion of the island ended with more than 600 Argentine soldiers killed and 200 British dead.
Earlier this week, it was announced one of the most sophisticated destroyers in the Royal Navy, the HMS Dauntless, would be deployed to the Falklands. And a training mission on the disputed South Atlantic islands by Prince William was criticized by Argentina's foreign ministry this week as the second-in-line to the throne "arriving on sovereign soil dressed in the uniform of a conquistador."
In a speech to the UN last September, Fernandez threatened to block the Chile flights if Britain refused to negotiate sovereignty of the islands. Argentina calls the archipegalo the Las Malvinas.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to hold talks.
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