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Argentina blasts Britain over Libya on Falklands date

BUENOS AIRES: Argentine President Cristina Kirchner took a swipe at Britain over its military action in Libya on Saturday, the anniversary of the start of the 1982 Falklands War.

"I've heard statements from leaders in the United Kingdom concerning what Argentina may do" militarily to recover the Falklands, known here as the Malvinas, Kirchner said.

"And it seems like a joke when one sees them entering every conflict by dropping bombs," she added, in reference to Britain's participation in the Libyan conflict as rebel forces seek to oust long time leader Moamer Qadhafi. Kirchner spoke at a public event in the southern city of Rio Gallegos on the 29th anniversary of the war with Britain over the South Atlantic archipelago. Argentina "will only participate in missions of peace, and is a leading example in the world on issues of nuclear non-proliferation," she said. Argentina's military junta invaded the Falklands in 1982, setting off a short but bloody war that saw Britain emerge victorious. Anglo-Argentine relations were not restored until 1990, and when ambassadors were exchanged, they left aside the issue of Falkland’s sovereignty, agreeing only to handle "practical" issues. The islands, which have a population of some 3,000 people, are located 450 kilometres (280 miles) off the South American coast. Friction between Argentina and Britain has intensified since 2010, when London authorized military exercises and oil prospecting around the Falkland Islands.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011