British Prime Minister David Cameron has accused Argentina of resorting to a “politics of confrontation” following its appeal to companies to place a ban on imported UK products.
The accusal comes in the wake of the proposal, issued in a statement from Argentina’s Minister of Industry Debora Giorgi yesterday, which called on 20 leading Argentine and multinational companies to stop importing British products.
The controversial decision is the latest in a series of attempts to put pressure on the British government to come to the negotiating table, prompting discussion which has been shunned thus far.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister stated that it was “clearly very sad that Argentina has resumed its politics of confrontation rather than cooperation.”
Argentina’s position, she continued, indicates a “misinterpretation of Britain’s decision on this issue.”
The Argentine government’s appeal comes in the midst of escalating tensions over the Falklands/Malvinas islands, a mere month before the anniversary of the 1982 conflict.
The diplomatic dispute has been triggered in recent weeks by the presence of Prince William on the islands, as well as Britain’s decision to send a warship to the South Atlantic.
A Foreign Office spokesman said Argentina’s chief diplomat Osvaldo Marisco had been called to the ministry this afternoon to explain Argentina’s decision. No Argentine ambassador has been present in Britain since 2008.
The UK has stated that since it is the “sixth largest investor in Argentina” and it “imports from Argentina significantly more than it exports to them,” it is “firmly not in Argentina’s economic interests to implement these trade barriers.”
In mid-February, the Argentine government lodged a complaint with the UN against the British “militarization” of the South Atlantic following the dispatch of the “HMS Dauntless” British Navy ship to the islands.
Officials are also due to discuss the refusal of the entry of two British cruisers into Tierra del Fuego on Monday. The decision adopted by the Argenine government invokes a new policy that bars vessels associated with the UK into the country’s ports.