Argentina not invited to Thatcher's funeral upon 'family wishes'

Argentina not invited to Thatcher's funeral upon 'family wishes'

LONDON - Reuters
Argentina not invited to Thatchers funeral upon family wishes

A file picture taken on January 8, 1983, shows former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (R) meeting personnel aboard the ship HMS Antrim during her five-day visit to the Falkand Islands. AFP PHOTO / SVEN NACKSTRAND/FILES

Britain has decided not to invite Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to Margaret Thatcher's funeral next week, a government source told Reuters on Thursday, a snub likely to deepen a bitter diplomatic dispute over the Falkland Islands.

The source said it would be normal protocol to invite representatives from every country with which Britain enjoys "normal" diplomatic relations to the funeral, but said Thatcher's family had objected to Fernandez being invited.

"It's about adhering to her family's wishes," the source said, adding that discussions were taking place to determine whether a more junior representative from Argentina could be invited instead.

Thatcher, 87, who died on Monday, led Britain at the time of the 1982 Falklands war ordering her armed forces to repel an Argentine invasion of the contested South Atlantic archipelago which Argentina calls Las Malvinas. Fernandez has mounted an increasingly vocal campaign to renegotiate its sovereignty.