Britain and Argentina are staging separate ceremonies to mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, amid renewed diplomatic tension.
British Prime Minister David Cameron says the day should be used to remember both countries’ dead, stressing that he remains committed to upholding British sovereignty.
Argentina’s President Kirchner is expected to visit the southern port of Ushuaia to pay tribute.
One Argentine veteran in the town was adamant that the South Atlantic islands belonged to his country. “We’ve never stopped fighting for the Malvinas,” he said. “We’re here to honour the true heroes who died.”
Newspaper coverage reflects Argentina’s criticism of what it calls British “militarisation” in the region.
London has sent a new warship to replace an old one. Prince William recently returned from a military deployment to the Falklands that London described as “routine” and Buenos Aires said was “provocative”.
More than 250 British and 650 Argentine troops died 30 years ago when London sent a military taskforce to oust Argentine forces who had invaded.
Britain has repeatedly rejected Argentine requests for discussions on sovereignty, citing the islanders’ right to self-determination.
The UK has held the islands since 1833 and residents have consistently said they want to remain British.
The discovery of oil off the Falklands has raised the stakes. Argentina has threatened to sue companies which explore.