Argentina asks Britain for Falklands flights

By Staff Reporter
AFP European Edition

Mar 01, 2012 14:22 EST

Argentina is asking Britain to increase weekly flights to the Falklands from two to three and to let them be operated by the Argentine flag carrier, President Cristina Kirchner said Thursday.

Tensions have been building over the South Atlantic islands, which Britain controls but Argentina claims, ahead of April's 30th anniversary of the start of the war over the archipelago.

Kirchner said she had instructed Foreign Minister Hector Timerman to renegotiate a 1998 agreement that allowed for two flights a week to the Falklands, originating in Chile but with stops in Rio Gallegos, Argentina.

Speaking at the opening of a session of the Congress, the Argentine president said that instead of two flights "there should be three flights that leave from the continent, from Buenos Aires, on our flag airline."

The proposal came as a surprise, coming just days after Argentina refused entry to two British cruise ships that visited the Falklands.

The two countries went to war over the remote archipelago 30 years ago next month, after Argentine forces seized the islands only to be routed by a British expeditionary force 74 days later.

In all, 649 Argentine troops, 255 British troops and three Falkland Islanders were killed in the conflict.

Tensions have flared anew since 2010 when Britain authorized oil companies to explore for oil in Falklands waters, and have sharpened with the deployment of a British warship to the islands.

Source: AFP European Edition


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