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Boris Johnson to lay wreath at Argentine Falklands memorial

The Foreign Secretary will visit the Monumento a los caidos en Malvinas – the Monument to the Fallen In the Falklands.

Boris Johnson is set to lay a wreath at a memorial to the Argentine dead of the Falklands war as he arrives in the South American country on the second leg of a trade tour.

The Foreign Secretary will visit the Monumento a los caidos en Malvinas – the Monument to the Fallen In the Falklands – in Argentine capital Buenos Aires.

The monument honours the memory of the 649 Argentine troops who died in the 1982 conflict following the invasion of the British territories in the south Atlantic.

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The Malvinas memorial in the centre of Buenos Aires (John Stillwell/PA)

The Falklands are still claimed by Argentina, but since his election as president in 2015, Mauricio Macri has significantly dialled down rhetoric on the issue, and Mr Johnson is hoping that it will not prove a bone of contention during his two day visit.

Anglo-Argentine relations were thrust into the deep freeze for more than a decade by the bellicose approach of Mr Macri’s predecessors Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Kirchner, who used the islands as a distraction from Argentina’s economic woes.

Mr Johnson will become the first foreign secretary to visit Argentina since 1993, as he attends a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Buenos Aires on Monday.

Theresa May is due to become the first prime minister since Tony Blair in 2001 to travel to the country when she takes part in the leaders’ summit of the international organisation in November.

Mr Johnson kicked off his Latin American tour in Peru, where he announced a £177 million UK-funded programme to encourage carbon reduction in four of the region’s countries, as well as viewing front line action to tackle the trade in illegal wildlife and meeting British firms involved in construction work for 2019’s Pan Am Games athletics tournament in Lima.

The Foreign Secretary was also keen to get involved when he visited a village school at nearby Santa Marta, on the bank of the Amazon.

As school children performed a dance to a pounding drumbeat, Mr Johnson took the hand of infant class teacher Adriana Pinedo and led her out to join them.

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