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Argentina Demands Talks on Falklands Dispute

  • VOA News

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez attends a Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples at the U.N. headquarters in New York June 14, 2012
President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina used the 30th anniversary of the end of the Falkland Islands conflict to demand that Britain begin formal talks with her country on the fate of the disputed archipelago.

Fernandez made the demand Thursday during an appearance at the United Nations Decolonization Committee. She accused Britain of abusing its position as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, but insisted Argentina did not want any more wars over the islands, which are referred to in Argentina as the Malvinas.

"We are just asking to talk," Fernandez said. "We are not asking to be said that we are right, told we are right. We are just asking to talk. We are not asking for anyone to say 'yes, the Malvinas are Argentina's.' We are asking for no more no less than to sit down at a table and talk."

But two legislators from the Falklands attending the meeting accused Ms. Fernandez of using "bullying" tactics to win control of the archipelago, and said the island would determine its own fate through a referendum it plans to hold next year. The Falkland lawmakers attempted to present a letter to Ms. Fernandez offering to hold talks with her, but no one in her large delegation would accept it.

Britain says it will not discuss the Falklands's future with Argentina, saying it is up to the island's residents to determine their future.

Argentina and Britain engaged in a 74-day war after Argentina invaded the remote South Atlantic islands, which ended with Argentina withdrawing from the islands. About 650 Argentinean and 255 British military personnel died in the conflict.

The Falklands have been a self-governing British territory since the 1982 war.