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Argentina seeks negotiations with UK over Falklands

The new government in Buenos Aires has invited the UK to resume talks aimed at settling the Falklands sovereignty dispute "fairly and definitively." The UK has controlled the islands, claimed by Argentina, since 1833.

Argentina is firmly committed to "peacefully settling its differences" and to "international law and multilateralism," the nation's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement confirmed that the

new Argentinean government

would continue to press its territorial claim on the Falkland Islands, with the conflict remaining the key stumbling block between Buenos Aires and London.

The administration "invites the United Kingdom to resume, as soon as possible, the negotiations aimed at settling the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas [Falklands] islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich islands and surrounding territorial seas fairly and definitively," the ministry said.

Residents support staying with UK

The United Kingdom has ruled the Falklands since 1833, even though the islands are located only 300 miles (480 kilometers) off Argentina's coast. Argentina claims that it inherited the remote archipelago when it gained independence from Spain in 1816.

Magellanic penguins on Carcass Island

The islands lie almost 13,000 kilometers (around 8,000 miles) southwest of the UK

In 1982, the Argentinean military junta deployed troops to take over the islands by force, sparking a two-month war between Argentina and the UK. The conflict ended with a British victory and the death of 649 Argentinean soldiers and 255 British troops.

Almost 99 percent of the Falklands' population voted to stay part of the UK in a 2013 referendum.

Last spring, secret documents published by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the

UK spied on Argentinean leaders

between 2006 and 2011. British security services also used the Internet to spread pro-British propaganda, in order to prevent Buenos Aires from seizing the islands.

The UK boosted its military presence on the archipelago in 2015.

dj/cmk (AFP, dpa)

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