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Britain, Argentina See Chance to Reset Strained Relations

  • Reuters

FILE - Argentina's President Mauricio Macri

FILE - Argentina's President Mauricio Macri

Old foes Britain and Argentina said on Thursday there was an opportunity to open a new chapter in diplomatic relations after a meeting between British Prime Minister David Cameron and newly elected Argentine President Mauricio Macri.

Relations between Britain and Argentina have been fraught since a brief war in 1982 which was triggered by a sovereignty dispute over the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic known as the Malvinas in Argentina.

That tension had been fanned in recent years by former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner, who repeatedly criticized Britain's refusal to discuss the sovereignty of the archipelago.

Cameron met Macri, who was sworn in as president last month, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos and afterwards signalled a possible thawing of relations.

"Both agreed that there was an opportunity to embark on a new chapter in relations between our two countries," a spokeswoman from Cameron's office said in a statement following the meeting.

The statement said they discussed economic reform in Argentina, the expansion of trade and investment links and the Falkland Islands. Cameron's position on the British sovereignty of the islands had not changed, it added.

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