In this frame grab from a TV advertisement released by Argentine Presidential Office, an Argentine Olympic field hockey player Fernando Zylberberg exercises in front of the Globe Tavern in Stanley, Falkland Islands. Residents of the Falkland Islands are angry over a TV commercial secretly filmed in the islands by Argentina, which calls the archipelago the Islas Malvinas and claims it was stolen from them by Britain nearly 180 years ago. (AP Photo/Argentine Presidential Office)AP2012
An Argentine TV advertisement filmed in the Falkland Islands that reasserts Buenos Aires' claims to the islands has the British government up in arms.
The ad shows Argentina field hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg training in Port Stanley, the islands' capital, to prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The ad says: "To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinean soil."
Produced by the Argentine presidency, the commercial claims it is a "homage to the fallen and ex-combatants" of the 1982 Falklands War over the islands.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday said Argentina had suffered some setbacks recently in President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's diplomatic offensive on the disputed islands, which Argentina calls "Las Malvinas."
Hague told Sky Television: "I think what is happening is they are looking for one or two stunts to try and make up for that or save a bit of pride somehow."
The British Foreign Office claimed the commercial was an attempt to exploit and politicize the Olympics and condemned the filmmakers for "insensitivity and disrespect" in using a war memorial as a prop.
"We are saddened at this attempt by Argentina to exploit the Games. The Olympics is about sport and not politics,” a British Foreign Office spokeswoman said. "The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. They remain free to chose their own futures both politically and economically and have a right to self-determination."
The Falklands War began with an invasion of the islands by Argentine forces during the country’s military dictatorship and ended in their defeat as well as the deaths of 649 Argentine and 255 British troops.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.