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Argentinian Envoy Defends Falklands Advert

The Argentinian ambassador to Britain has defended her country's controversial Olympics advertisement which shows an athlete training on a war memorial in the Falklands.

Argentina sparked outrage this week by releasing the advert for the Games which shows the country's hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg training in the Falklands Islands.

The 90-second clip also shows Zylberberg exercising on the island's Great War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in the First World War.

The advert calls the islands by their Argentinian name, the Malvinas, and carries the tagline: "To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinian soil."

Ambassador Alicia Castro told Sky's Dermot Murnaghan there had been a conflict over the islands for decades, and that it should be sorted out internationally.

But she insisted that there was nothing wrong with her government's Olympic advertisement.

She told Sky News: "Malvinas are Argentinian. I mean, the islands belong to Argentina, they are in our continental shelf so there's nothing wrong with an athlete training there.

"I don't really want to go into a small discussion, I would like to go into a broader discussion and the discussion is why can't we sit and talk? 

"The international community is calling for a settlement of this conflict in a peaceful and permanent solution."

On Friday, the agency behind the advert, Young & Rubicam, said it had asked the government in Buenos Aires to pull the advert, accusing its creators of behaving "in a manner that is unacceptable to our company".

Foreign Secretary William Hague dismissed the advert as a "stunt".

He accused Argentina of trying to misuse the Games for political purposes and said the move would not affect Britain's position on the islands.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. They remain free to choose their own futures, both politically and economically, and have a right to self-determination".

The advert was filmed with a handheld camera and shows the 35-year-old player training outside a typical pub, the Globe Tavern.

The footage also shows Zylberberg running past the offices of the local newspaper, the Penguin News and an iconic red British telephone box.

The glossy advert, filmed beneath rolling grey clouds, also uses rousing music for dramatic effect.

It ends with the words: "Homage to the fallen and the veterans of the Malvinas. Presidency of the Nation."

The commercial also said it was a "tribute to the fallen and ex-combatants" of the 1982 Falklands War.

The advert was screened on several Argentinian TV stations on Wednesday night to coincide with the the 30th anniversary of the torpedo attack on the cruiser General Belgrano by a British nuclear-powered submarine during the conflict.