Argentina calls for dialogue with UK over Falkland Islands 40 years on

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Argentina’s Minister of Defence, Jorge Taiana has called on the United Kingdom to sit down “once and for all” for talks of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands four decades on from the conflict. During a farewell ceremony for Argentine UN Peacekeepers heading to Cyprus, Mr Taiana made a point of raising Buenos Aires long-standing claim to the British overseas territory.

Mr Taiana said: “We believe in international law, we believe in the peaceful settlement of disputes and, for this reason, we also call for dialogue so that the British sit down, once and for all, to talk about the sovereignty dispute in the Malvinas Islands”

The minister added his country “is committed to the peaceful solution” of conflicts, “to dialogue and respect for international law”.

He asked the British government to “sit down and talk once and for all about the Malvinas Islands” before warning that “the powerful should not use force to impose their interests and modify the world order.”

He added: “The task of our force is to control that buffer zone to avoid accidents. This shows we believe in international law and peaceful negotiation.

“We must not forget that we have part of our territory occupied.

“We have a sovereignty dispute pending resolution because one of the parties refuses to sit down and talk, showing disrespect for international law and the peaceful settlement of serious disputes.”

The minister told the gathered peacekeepers: “You have a specific task as blue helmets, and at the same time you have the task of representing our homeland to confirm that we are a sovereign state that will not submit to the designs of the powerful.”

The Blue Helmets are members of the armed forces of their respective countries and work with UN police and civilian partners to “promote stability, security and peace processes”.

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An Argentine Air Force Boeing 737 aircraft named “Islas Malvinas”, was used to ferry the troops to the Mediterranean island.

The Falklands, located in the South Atlantic, have been under British control since 1833, but Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over them.

In 1982 the dispute flared up when Argentine’s military junta mounted a military invasion of the islands sparking a war that lasted 74 days.

Recent demands from the Government of Argentina for negotiations with the United Kingdom to settle the territorial dispute over the Falkland Islands coincide with the 40th anniversary of the conflict, which ended with the re-establishment of British control over the islands

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The UK Government’s position on the Falkland Islands is that they support the right of the islanders to self-determination.

In 2013, the Falkland Islands Government held a referendum on whether or not to maintain the Islands’ status as a British Overseas Territory.

The referendum resulted in an overwhelming 99.8 percent vote in favour.

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