LONDON - Britain ruled out talks with Argentina about the status of the Falkland Islands yesterday after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said her government would formally complain to the UN Security Council about British “militarization’’ of the dispute over the remote archipelago.
The exchange between the two countries, which have rival claims to sovereignty and fought a 10-week war over the islands in 1982, was interpreted in London as raising tensions at a time when the Falklands are again making headlines.
Kirchner’s accusation Tuesday followed the arrival in the islands last week of Prince William, who deployed as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force to begin his first overseas military tour at an air base there.
Britain has also angered Argentina by announcing that it will send one of its most advanced destroyers to patrol the Falklands waters, replacing an older frigate. Argentina has interpreted the move as saber-rattling on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Argentine invasion that led to war.
In a statement yesterday, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said: “The people of the Falkland Islands are British out of choice. They are free to determine their own future, and there will be no negotiations with Argentina on sovereignty unless the islanders wish it.’’