May 19, 2013
Gov't condemns UK's decision to send warship to Malvinas
By Javier Cardenal Taján
The National Government condemned the arrival of the HMS Dauntless, a British warship, to the Malvinas Islands and urged the UK to “avoid falling in the temptation of engaging in discourse “that transforms patriotism in bullying patriotism.”
“The Argentine Republic rejects the British attempt to militarize a conflict that the UN has already said must be solved through bilateral negotiations between both nations,” a statement released by the Foreign Ministry read.
“Governments should try to avoid falling in the temptation to engage in discourse that transforms patriotism in bullying patriotism in order to distract public attention from policies of economic adjustment in the midst of a structural crisis and high unemployment,” it assured.
One of the UK Royal Navy’s most powerful new warships, the HMS Dauntless, is to be sent to patrol the South Atlantic including the Malvinas Islands after the latest diplomatic tensions between Buenos Aires and London, the UK's Royal Navy Senior Press Officer confirmed to the BuenosAiresHerald.com.
The HMS Dauntless will be deployed on her maiden mission to the South Atlantic at the end of March, just days before the 30th anniversary of the Malvinas War.
Sister ship HMS Daring has already been sent to the Gulf for her first mission amid heightened tensions with Iran over threats by Tehran to block a busy shipping lane.
However the British Ministry of Defence has said the deployment was long planned to replace frigate HMS Montrose and not a riposte to increased tensions over the sovereignty of the islands.
"The Royal Navy has had a continuous presence in the South Atlantic for many years. The deployment of HMS DAUNTLESS to the South Atlantic has been long planned, is entirely routine and replaces another ship on patrol," UK's Royal Navy Senior Press Office Simon Smith stressed.
Although the spokesman rejected suggestions the decision to send the ultra-modern destroyer to the region represented an escalation of the UK's position, the sending comes amid a diplomatic war of words over renewed Argentine claims of sovereignty, and with UK Prime Minister David Cameron accusing Argentina of "colonialism".
In addition to the deployment of HMS Dauntless, Jeremy Browne, the British Foreign Office minister responsible for relations with Latin America, announced he will visit the islands in June.
“I’m going to coincide with the conclusion of the Falklands war. I will be going in June for the 30th anniversary," he said.
“I hope Argentines will see it for what it is, which is a recognition of the valour and sacrifice of British soldiers and the islanders themselves in the liberation of the islands 30 years ago and also a wider commemoration of the sacrifice made more generally, including by Argentines, he said.
With crews of 180, the HMS Dauntless is part of the new 45s type vessels the Royal Navy is to deploy on international waters.
It was built with a futuristic design that makes it difficult to detect using radar. It is armed with high-tech Sea Viper anti-air missiles and can carry 60 troops.
They also have a large flight deck which can accommodate helicopters the size of a Chinook as well as take on board 700 people in the case of a civilian evacuation.