South American summit backs Argentina in Falklands row

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Argentina won backing from South American leaders Tuesday in its row with Britain over the Falkland Islands renewed by oil prospecting off the Atlantic archipelago.

The Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR, gave its "firm backing to the legitimate rights of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom" over the Falklands, known in Spanish as the Malvinas Islands, a joint statement said.

The 12 nations represented at the summit asserted that the oil exploration by a British company just off the Falklands, and on the continental shelf running off from Argentina, was being "illegally carried out."

The statement said the prospecting violated a UN resolution that called on London and Buenos Aires to resolve their differences over the archipelago, over which they fought in

© 2010 AFP

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