(AFP) – Jun 27, 2012
BUENOS AIRES — President Cristina Kirchner said Argentina would keep politics out of sports during the London Olympics despite its decades-long dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands.
"They are expecting some sort of foolishness from us, but we do not mix such things," Kirchner said at a ceremony Tuesday to send off the country's delegation to the games, to be held July 27 to August 12.
"We do not need to do anything to interfere with sports. We defend our rights in the appropriate forums," she said.
Kirchner went on to defend as "divine" an ad shown widely on Argentine television in which an athlete is shown training in the Falklands, with the slogan: "To compete on English soil we train on Argentine soil."
The Argentine Olympic Committee has previously insisted that the Olympic Games not be used as a "platform for politics."
Tensions between Argentina and Britain over the disputed islands have soared following the 30th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War this month.
Argentina's invasion of the South Atlantic islands in 1982 triggered a 74-day war that left 255 British soldiers and 650 Argentines dead.
The conflict ended in defeat for Argentina, but the country has made repeated claims for sovereignty over the archipelago, which has been held by Britain since 1833.
Earlier this month the Falklands' local government said it would hold a referendum next year on which country residents wanted to belong to, but the war of words between Argentina and Britain has continued to escalate.
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