Top Argentine diplomat insists on talks over Falklands

Top Argentine diplomat insists on talks over Falklands
# 21 February 2010 01:54 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana on Saturday again urged Britain to negotiate on sovereignty of the potentially oil-rich Falkland Islands, held by Britain but claimed by Buenos Aires, APA reports citing AFP.

"Britain should sit down and have a dialogue about sovereignty to overcome this anachronistic colonial situation," Taiana said from Mexico where he was preparing for a Rio Group summit.

"Argentina will dialogue diplomatically and peacefully," Taiana told the state news agency Telam ahead of the summit where President Cristina Kirchner will try to rally regional support for her stand on the islands.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in London Friday he was "confident" diplomacy could resolve a standoff with Argentina on the Falklands, as islanders voiced disappointment at tensions over oil drilling.

"The diplomacy between us and Argentina is one that I think will be successful," Brown said, insisting that Britain was acting within international law. "I think the work that’s being done will avoid any tension".

But Taiana said Britain, a UN Security Council member, was skirting UN resolutions calling for dialogue on the dispute. Taiana was to meet with UN chief Ban-Ki Moon Wednesday to encourage talks, Argentina’s UN envoy Jorge Arguello has said.

Argentina and Britain engaged in a brief but bitter war in 1982 over the archipelago.
Argentina’s defeat resulted in the collapse of the military regime that ruled the country at the time, helping usher in a return to democracy.

The latest round of verbal skirmishes were triggered by Argentina’s decree that ships traveling through its waters to the Falklands -- home to 3,000 islanders, 1,000 British soldiers and 500,000 sheep -- require an Argentine permit.

Argentina says that its "jurisdictional waters" are up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers, 230 miles) off its coast.

The Falkland Islands lie 450 kilometers from the Argentine coast or mainland, beyond the 200-nautical mile limit but within a continental shelf area that Argentina claimed in a UN submission last year.
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