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Prince William Branded A 'Conqueror' By Argentina Ahead Of Falklands Deployment

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Prince William will serve a tour on the Falkland Islands as a search-and-rescue pilot
Prince William will serve a tour on the Falkland Islands as a search-and-rescue pilot

Prince William has been branded a "conqueror" by Argentina ahead of his deployment to the Falkland Islands as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot.

Buenos Aires previously criticised the Duke of Cambridge's posting to the region as a provocative act, amid a war of words with Britain over the sovereignty of the islands, which Argentina calls las Malvinas.

In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, the Argentinian foreign ministry said William "will arrive on the Malvinas islands as a member of his country's armed forces".

"The Argentine people regret that the royal heir will arrive on national soil in the uniform of the conqueror and not with the wisdom of the statesman who works in the service of peace and dialogue among nations," it said.

The statement came as the Royal Navy announced it was sending one of its most advanced warships to the South Atlantic, prompting further reaction from Argentina.

HMS Dauntless, a Type 45 destroyer, joined the fleet in November 2010 and will replace HMS Montrose, an older Type 23 frigate, on patrol in the coming months.

"Argentina rejects the British attempt to militarise a conflict regarding which the UN has said both nations must resolve though bilateral negotiations," the foreign ministry said.

However the Ministry of Defence in London has insisted the deployment of the ship was part of the routine rotation of its ships in the region.

"The Royal Navy has had a continuous presence in the South Atlantic for many years. The deployment of HMS Dauntless to the South Atlantic has been long planned, is entirely routine and replaces another ship on patrol," a Royal Navy spokesman said.

The spokesman told the Huffington Post that it "just so happened" that the more advanced destroyer was replacing a frigate at this time.

South American nations recently banned ships flying the Falklands Islands flag from docking at their ports in a sign of solidarity with Argentina.

The rise in tension comes as the 30th anniversary approaches of the successful British mission to recapture the islands following an Argentine invasion.

On Tuesday Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne revealed he intended to visit the islands in June to mark the 30th anniversary of the island's liberation.

"I'm going to coincide with the conclusion of the Falklands war," he told Reuters.

"I hope they will see it for what it is, which is a recognition of the valour and sacrifice of British soldiers and the Falkland islanders themselves in the liberation of the islands 30 years ago and also a wider commemoration of the sacrifice made more generally, including by Argentinians," he said.