Argentina to UK's Falklands memorial invitation: no thanks

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Britain expressed its regret yesterday after Argentina rejected an invitation to a joint commemoration service in London to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Jorge Taiana, Argentina's foreign minister, rejected the invitation on Monday, about three months after it was presented to Argentina's embassy in London.

"They have given it the character of a victory celebration and, given that, we cannot take part," Mr Taiana said during a visit to South Africa. "We consider the Malvinas to be an archaic colonial situation and in the 21st Century the persistence of this situation is difficult to explain."

The Foreign Office expressed "regret" yesterday at Argentina's decision. Public ceremonies are planned both on the islands and in Britain to mark the beginning and end of the April 2 to June 14 conflict.

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