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Peru cancels visit by UK navy frigate over Malvinas Islands

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A protester carries a placard that reads "Britons get out from Las Malvinas" during a demonstration outside the British Embassy over the Las Malvinas in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 20, 2012.

Peru has cancelled a visit by a British navy frigate planning to dock at the country’s port of Callao to show support for Argentine’s claims of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands.

The decision was announced by Peruvian Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo on Tuesday.

Roncagliolo said that the move was in line with an agreement reached by the 12 members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) on Saturday.

The British ship Montrose was scheduled to arrive at the port on Thursday in what the UK described to be a friendly visit.

The Malvinas Islands, located about 300 miles off Argentina’s coast and home to about 3,000 inhabitants, have been declared as part of the British Overseas Territories since Britain established its colonial rule in the islands in 1833.

Argentina, however, has repeatedly dismissed the British claim over the islands.

Tensions have been mounting in recent months over the Malvinas Islands, with the UN calling on Britain to discuss decolonization. The UK has so far refused to do so.

Britain has deployed its most sophisticated warship, HMS Dauntless, and a nuclear submarine to the South Atlantic to prevent Argentina’s possible counter-move.

A 74-day Malvinas War was fought between Britain and Argentina in 1982 over the islands which ended with the British side claiming victory over Argentineans. A year after the war, the UK enforced the British Nationality Act of 1983, which offers citizenship to the islanders.


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