The diplomatic row over the Falkland Islands deepened dramatically after Argentina announced that it would take its protests over British oil exploration to the United Nations. At the Rio Group summit in Mexico on Feb. 23, Buenos Aires won unprecedented support from other Latin American states for its demand that the U.K. stop drilling in waters near the islands. Argentina’s Foreign Minister is to meet the U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon. A resolution is also set to be tabled in the U.N. General Assembly condemning Britain for allowing Ocean Guardian to begin drilling 60 miles north of the islands after Argentina annouced new shipping controls. Desire Petroleum, which is operating the rig, has said that the drilling will take about a month. Further exploration is likely by other companies. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, insisted that the exploration was fully within international law. But ministers admit privately that the UK has been preparing for a diplomatic confrontation with Argentina for months. (Times Online)

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