`William’s deployment to Falklands provocative`

Prince William will fly to the South Atlantic for a routine tour as an RAF search and rescue co-pilot in February.

Updated: Nov 12, 2011, 17:49 PM IST

London: Argentina has accused Britain of acting ‘aggressively and provocatively’ by announcing that Prince William would be deployed in the Falkland Islands.

The Duke of Cambridge will fly to the South Atlantic for a routine tour as an RAF search and rescue co-pilot in February, shortly before the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom.

Argentina, which claims sovereignty over the Falklands and calls them Las Malvinas, said that the move was a political act.

“It is impossible to ignore the political aspect of this military operation bearing in mind that the Prince forms part of the Royal Family,” the Daily Mail quoted Sebastian Brugo Marco, a senior official at the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as saying.

“This is another provocative act by Great Britain with its military presence in a peaceful zone where there is no armed conflict,” Marco added.

The Falkland Islands have been sovereign British territory since 1833, and British politicians have warned Argentina to stop meddling in their nation’s affairs.

According to the paper, Argentine news websites carrying the story of William’s visit received twisted messages from extremists.

One wrote that he hoped William’s helicopter would crash and he would ‘die frozen in the sea, like our heroes from the cruiser General Belgrano, a reference to the Argentine ship sunk in the war.

Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defence stressed that it was a ‘routine deployment’ and that William will be back in Britain well before the anniversary of the invasion on April 02.