UK Prepared to Protect Falkland Islands

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the UK has made all necessary preparations to protect the Falkland Islands.

Controls on ships passing through its waters to the islands over UK plans to drill for oil, have been brought by Argentina.

The imminent arrival of a British company's oil rig in the area and the discovery of rich petroleum and gas reserves around the islands, have caused friction between the two countries.

The rig will be sailing in international waters and any attempt to interfere with it would be in breach of international law.

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague intends to increase the Royal Navy's presence in the region.

BBC Defence Correspondent Caroline Wyatt comprehends that the destroyer HMS York, the oil supply tanker RFA Wave Ruler as well as HMS Clyde is in the area.

Argentine Deputy Foreign Minister Victorio Taccetti said his country would take "adequate measures" to stop oil exploration.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez signed a decree requiring all vessels travelling between Argentina and the islands, to seek prior permission.

Buenos Aires has demanded that the Falklands should suspend oil exploration on the seabed, which is estimated to contain 60 billion barrels of oil.