Prince William in “the uniform of a conqueror.”

1 Feb

Argentina has today made another attack on the deployment of Prince William to the Falkland Islands in the weeks leading up to the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands War in 1982.

In a statement issued from the Foreign Ministry in Buenos Aires, a spokesman said; “Prince William will arrive on the Falkland islands as a member of his country’s armed forces. The Argentine people regret that the royal heir will arrive on national soil in the uniform of the conqueror and not with the wisdom of the statesman who works in the service of peace and dialogue among nations.”

Prince William is due to go to the South Atlantic Islands this week as part of a routine exercise necessary as training for his role as a Search and Rescue helicopter pilot. He is expected to remain there for about six weeks, gaining the experience necessary for command. April 2nd is also the anniversary of the Argentine invasion, although the Prince is not expected to have any official duties in the Falklands during his stay there. “He is coming down to do his job, as any of the search-and-rescue crews do, let the chap get on with his job” Brig. Bill Aldridge, commander of the 1,200 British servicemen on the islands, told The Times newspaper.

Argentina has previously described the Prince’s deployment as insensitive.

Argentina lost the short, 74 day long Falklands War and over 600 of its troops died before their commanders surrendered to a smaller British force.

Nationalist sentiment is running high in Argentina this year, with a recent poll indicating that 74% of the population support the President’s stance on the archipelago, although a surprising 5% said that the Falklands should remain British. President Cristina Kirchner has continued the disruptive policies of her husband who preceded her as President of the South American Nation. Kirchner has attempted to impose an economic blockade of the Islands albeit with limited support from her neighbours, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, who have only accepted a symbolic ban of ships flying the Falkland Islands flag.

President Kirchner is now expected to attempt to persuade Chile to cancel the once-a-week flights to the Falklands which over-fly Argentina’s airspace.

The Argentine Government is showing particular sensitivity over this, the 30th anniversary of their second failed attempt to take the Islands by force, and the bellicose rhetoric has been mounting since the beginning of the year. Protests are even being made about the showing of the new ‘Iron Lady‘ movie in which Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister in 1982.

Argentina’s first attempt to seize sovereignty of the archipelago was in 1832. That invasion was also defeated by a small British Task Force, but without bloodshed.

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