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Falklands Olympic ad a stunt: Hague

An Argentinian television advert showing an Olympic hopeful training on a British war memorial in the Falklands has been branded a "stunt" by William Hague.

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

The provocative 90-second clip, produced by the country's presidency, says the athlete is preparing for London 2012 on "Argentine soil". It shows Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running in the Falklands capital, Port Stanley, and exercising on the island's Great War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in the First World War.

The advert, reportedly broadcast on Wednesday, calls the islands by their Argentinian name, the Malvinas, and carries the tagline: "To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinian soil." It ends with the words: "Homage to the fallen and the veterans of the Malvinas. Presidency of the Nation."

Mr Hague told Sky News: "Argentina has had some diplomatic setbacks in the last few weeks. They have failed at summit of the Americas to get other countries - South and North America - to issue a declaration on the Falkland Islands.

"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. But I don't think trying to misuse the Olympics in some way for political purposes will go down very well with other countries.

"Of course, it doesn't change our position on the Falkland Islands. We will always support the right to self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands."

The Foreign Office also criticised the advert as an attempt to exploit and politicise the Games.

An FCO spokeswoman said: "We are saddened at this attempt by Argentina to exploit the Games. The Olympics is about sport and not politics. We are also dismayed at the insensitivity and disrespect demonstrated by the film-makers in their use of a war memorial in the Falklands as a prop.

"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."

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