THE United Kingdom has given its full support to the companies involved in oil and gas exploration in Falkland Islands waters Mercopress reported this week.
This followed Argentina's announcement on Monday that it was beginning legal actions against five companies committed to, "illegal," and, "clandestine," exploration activities in Falklands waters.
The site reports: "The exploration for hydrocarbons in the Falklands waters is a legitimate commercial activity", said a spokeswoman from the Foreign Office who immediately added that the UK supports the Islanders' rights to develop their own hydrocarbons resources for their own economic benefit.
"They are entitled to develop their own resources in their waters and this right is an integral part of their right to self-determination"The spokeswoman added that, "these latest attempts to damage the economic live hood of the Falkland Islands people regrettably reflect a pattern of behaviour by the Argentine government.
"From harassing Falklands shipping to threatening the Islands air link with Chile, Argentine efforts to intimidate the Falklands are illegal, unbecoming and wholly counter productive" said the Foreign Office.
The spokesperson also downplayed the Argentine announcement regarding the suing of London listed oil companies in the Falklands, arguing it was entirely illegal.
"We must insist that Argentine legislation does not apply in the Falklands, South Georgia or South Sandwich Islands" she said pointing out that "the Falklands people have the right to develop their fishing and oil industry in their own waters with no interference from Argentina.
"We're closely following the comments on the matter from Argentina and we will work closely with any company potentially affected to ensure that practical implications for them are the least possible." concluded the FCO spokeswoman.