Argentina has complained about military exercises that Britain is planning this month in the Falkland Islands.
Argentina’s foreign ministry demanded the country call off the “illegitimate” exercises, which include the launching of short range Rapier air defence missiles.
A spokeswoman for the British embassy in Buenos Aires called it a “routine exercise”, the exercise takes place annually.
Argentina issued its complaint not long after the two countries agreed to work together toward removing measures restricting the oil and gas industry on the islands.
Recently, a £19m contract to upgrade the Falklands Mare Harbour was agreed between VolkerStevin, based in Preston, and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
The project, which is due to be completed in September 2017, will improve military capability in the Falklands as the current harbour berth is unsuitable for the class of vessel which services the islands. The improvements will better support and facilitate secure mooring for visiting vessels. There will also be a new jetty to support small boat operations.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Improving Mare Harbour is an important part of our major investment plan to modernise the Falkland Island’s infrastructure. This will boost the capability of our Armed Forces and help support greater economic opportunities for the Islanders.”
Rob Coupe, Managing Director of VolkerStevin, said:
“We are delighted to be working on the Mare Harbour contract in the Falklands for the DIO. As a specialist in marine construction works, we look forward to working on this design and build project for the roll-on roll-off facility upgrade.
We have worked previously with the DIO and are currently working on a similar project with them at Portsmouth so are happy to be able to build on this existing partnership. We’re so pleased to be working as part of this investment to modernise military infrastructure on the Islands and look forward to starting.”
Mare Harbour is a small settlement on East Falkland, on Choiseul Sound. It is mostly used as a port facility and depot for RAF Mount Pleasant, as well as a deepwater port used by the Royal Navy ships patrolling the South Atlantic and Antarctica, which means that the main harbour of the islands, Stanley Harbour tends to deal with commercial transport.