Kirchner wants new Falklands talks with Britain

21st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

President Cristina Kirchner warned Britain on Wednesday that Argentina could suspend bilateral working agreements if London fails to sit down for talks over the sovereignty of the Falklands.

"We declare before this assembly that we are going to wait a reasonable amount of time, but if not (if not talks take place) we will be obligated to revise the provisional agreements that are currently in effect," the Argentine leader said at the United Nations.

Both countries claim the Falkland Islands, which since the 1830s have been controlled by London, and the territory has been at the heart of renewed diplomatic bickering since the start of oil and gas exploration there last year.

Argentina and Britain fought a brief war in 1982 for control of the Falklands in which Argentina was roundly defeated.

But Britain has long maintained that it will keep control of the islands, whose inhabitants are overwhelmingly of British descent.

Prime Minister David Cameron insisted in June that the islands would remain British territory as long as they wanted "full stop, end of story" -- a declaration derided by Kirchner at the time as an "expression of mediocrity and almost of stupidity."

A UN decolonization committee has debated the status of the Falklands each year since a 1965 resolution that called on the countries to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. But it has little progress to show for its efforts and Kirchner said she was running out of patience.

"I want to convey once more to this assembly and to the United Kingdom, Argentina's wish for dialogue, but it is also true that a great deal of time has passed," Kirchner said at annual UN meetings.

"Argentina has no intention to attack anyone... But it is only fair that this body and the United Kingdom bear in mind that it is necessary to enforce compliance with resolutions."

She also complained about British military maneuvers held in May and June in the region, calling missile tests by Britain a "real provocation."

© 2011 AFP

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