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Argentina Repudiates U.K.’s Cameron on Falkland Islands Defense

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s government repudiated comments by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron that his military is prepared to defend the Falkland Islands if necessary, saying he should instead focus on creating jobs in Europe.

The Foreign Ministry asked Cameron “not to use the legitimate and peaceful claims we make against the usurpation of part of our territory and against colonialism as an excuse to continue to support the arms industry rather than alleviate the severe social crisis that is sweeping Europe,” according to a statement e-mailed today. “People need more work and fewer wars.”

The U.K. and Argentina went to war in 1982 over the islands that lie off the South American country’s coast. In an open letter to Cameron published in U.K. and U.S. newspapers on Jan. 3, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said he should abide by a 1960 United Nations resolution urging member states to “end colonialism in all its forms.” Britain should begin negotiations over the sovereignty of the islands, which were “forcibly stripped” from Argentina 180 years ago, she told the prime minister.

Cameron made his comments about the Falklands today on BBC Television’s “The Andrew Marr Show.”

“I get regular reports on this entire issue because I want to know that our defenses are strong,” he said. “Our resolve is extremely strong.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Martin in Mexico City at emartin21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier at swier@bloomberg.net

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