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Falklands row could hit UK's South American ambitions

•, By Adrian Croft, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Thirty years after Britain and Argentina went to war over the Falklands, relations are at their chilliest in years as Buenos Aires launches a multi-pronged diplomatic offensive to assert its claim to sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands.

While a new military conflict is seen as highly unlikely, the dispute could jeopardise Britain's drive for closer economic and trade ties with emerging Latin America powers such as Brazil that it hopes will kickstart the stagnating British economy.

The discovery of oil off the Falklands has raised the stakes, leading Argentina to threaten to sue companies involved in oil exploration and to protest to the United Nations over British "militarisation" of the South Atlantic.

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