British Navy Frigate Denied Access to Peru Over Falkland Islands
Due to Peru’s long-standing argument with Britain over the Falkland Islands, the country has canceled a recent port call by a British navy frigate in unity with Argentina. Starting Thursday, the HMS Montrose was scheduled for a visit to a naval base in Lima’s El Callao port.
Peru’s Foreign Minister, Rafael Roncagliolo, made the cancellation announcement on Monday. His reasoning was based on a commitment to Latin American solidarity, and an effort to show respect to Argentina’s rights in the control dispute over the Islands.
Argentina had openly been criticizing Peru’s original approval of the frigate’s visit, as the tensions between Britain and Argentina heighten upon the 30th anniversary of their short-lived war over the territory. The British Embassy in Lima said that the frigate had been scheduled to make a short visit to Peru as part of a routine deployment to the region, according to a Businessweek report.
Ship visits are a free decision for states, but Britain has expressed disappointment that Peru has withdrawn its previous agreement to this visit. The UK Government maintains full commitment to the Falkland islanders' right to independence and has stated that this position will not change. Argentina's government has been trying to use political and economic power to force Britain into sovereignty talks ahead of the April 2 anniversary of Argentina's 1982 invasion of the islands, which are known throughout Latin America as the Islas Malvinas.