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No Olympics Boycott Over Falklands Row

Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez is insisting her country will take part in the London Olympics "with our flag up high" despite the continuing row with the UK over the Falkland Islands.

Earlier reports had suggested Argentina was planning a boycott in response to Britain's refusal to discuss sovereignty of the islands the Argentines call Las Malvinas.

"We will go to the Olympics with our flag up high," Ms Fernandez told a group of supporters in Rosario in the province of Sante Fe, appearing to water down internal pressure for a boycott.

"There are still 16 colonial enclaves in the world. One of them is right here in our country, in our Malvinas Islands.

"This is a shameful condition for the world precisely when we are celebrating 200 years of our flag.

"That is why remembering the Malvinas here and ratifying this regional and global cause once more is not only just about territory or history. It is also about the defence of our natural resources."

The Argentine president also paid tribute to those from her country who died in the Falklands War almost 30 years ago.

She said she remembered asking former Santa Fe governor Hermes Binner why the monument to the war was enclosed and entry was forbidden.

The answer, she said, was shocking - many veterans had committed suicide by plunging to their deaths from it.

"We honour each and all of those teenagers who went to the islands without any military instruction, proper clothing or food to the ultimate sacrifice," she said.

On Monday, local authorities in Argentina refused permission for two British-linked cruise ships from docking in Tierra del Fuego , in a continuation of the row started soon after Ms Fernandez came to power.

In return, Britain has said it is creating one of the world's biggest marine reserves around the remote British territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The fishing restrictions are likely to anger Buenos Aires, which also claims sovereignty over those islands.