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David Cameron’s first foreign-policy crisis?

It’s a bit unclear who’s in charge of Britain right now, but if — as is looking more likely — David Cameron enters 10 Downing Street with either a minority government or a wacky Conservative-Liberal coalition, he’s going to have his hands full right off the bat with Argentina:  Argentina reacted with fury last night ...

It’s a bit unclear who’s in charge of Britain right now, but if — as is looking more likely — David Cameron enters 10 Downing Street with either a minority government or a wacky Conservative-Liberal coalition, he’s going to have his hands full right off the bat with Argentina: 

Argentina reacted with fury last night to the news that British company Rockhopper Exploration had made significant oil discoveries in waters around the Falkland Islands.

As news broke that the company had encountered a 53m-thick deposit of oil 220km (135 miles) north of the islands, that could lead to the discovery of up to 200 million barrels of oil worth £17 billion at current prices, Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana condemned British actions in the region as “illegal” and “unilateral”.

In a statement issued yesterday by the Foreign Ministry, Mr Taiana said: “Argentina energetically refutes what is an illegal attempt to confiscate non-renewable natural resources that are the property of the Argentine people.

It went on: “And wants to make clear, to the UK authorities that authorised this exploration and to the company involved, that the Argentine Government will continue to denounce this illegal British action in all international forums, and that it will take all necessary measures, according to international law, to impede the continuation of these actions.”

Argentina’s Foreign Minister also warned that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s Government would continue to impose restrictions on the movement of ships between Argentina and the Falklands.

Cameron is not only hawkish on the Falklands; he has also been critical of the Obama administration’s reluctance to take the British side in the dispute.

As Joe Biden would say, "Gird your loins!"

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating