Britain blasted for boosting military presence in disputed islands

Updated: 2015-03-31 13:20


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BUENOS AIRES - Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman on Monday wrote to international organizations to denounce Britain for boosting military presence in the Malvinas Islands, known as the Falklands in the European country.

"Britain is trying to justify a military presence worthy of a colonial power," wrote Timerman in letters to organiztaions, including the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Union of South American Nations.

"Despite more than 40 recommendations by international agencies, such as the UN, that the two sides use dialogue and diplomacy to resolve their long-running territorial dispute, London is leaning towards a military solution," said Timerman.

London's decision only serves to generate unnecessary tension in the South Atlantic, he said.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Tuesday that his country will reinforce its military presence on the disputed islands.

Britain would deploy two Chinook helicopters, upgrade communications at the Royal Air Force base there, and renew the surface-to-air missile defense system.

London also plans to invest 180 million pounds ($268 million) over the next decade on modernizing infrastructure and continue to provide a maritime patrol vessel there.

Britain and Argentina went to war over the islands in 1982, after Argentina ventured to reclaim the territory by sending a naval force. Britain regained control of the islands after a brief conflict.