Lawmakers in Buenos Aires have passed legislation that prohibits vessels sailing under the British flag from “mooring, loading or carrying out logistical operations” in ports in the area.

The move is widely seen as part of the continuing drive by Argentina to assert its claims to the Falkland Islands or Los Malvinas as they are known to the Argentines.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has fanned the flames of nationalism over the disputed archipelago since coming to power, with the rhetoric stepped up for this year’s anniversary of the war.

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President Kirchner and David Cameron have clashed over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands

Ships sailing under the Falklands flag are already banned from the country's ports.

Argentina is also keen to prevent oil and gas exploration in the region as it tussles with the UK over who has the rights to the vast quantities of natural resources that are thought to sit off the coast of the islands.

The bill’s sponsor, Patricia Cubria, said: "The law prohibits any ship with a UK flag or other flag of convenience that comes to the area of the Malvinas to explore or exploit natural resources from mooring, anchoring or getting logistical help."

However, the ban is seen as largely symbolic as most ships headed for the Falklands do not stop in Argentina.

David Cameron has said that the sovereignty of the islands is not in doubt and the islands 3,000 residents have planned a referendum on the issue to counter Argentina's claims.