Argentina raises Falklands negotiations at UN meeting | News | DW | 23.06.2016
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Argentina raises Falklands negotiations at UN meeting

Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra has told the UN that recovering sovereignty of the Falkland Islands remained a permanent objective. Malcorra is a candidate to replace Secretary General Ban Ki-moon next year.

Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra issued a fresh appeal to Britain to resume negotiations on the status of the disputed Falkland Islands, which Argentina refers to as Las Malvinas. She repeated earlier appeals to enter negotiations over the future of the islands.

"This protracted sovereignty dispute must be solved through negotiations," the foreign minister told the United Nations' Special Committee on Decolonization.

"I would like to reiterate ... the full willingness of the Argentine government to resume negotiations with the United Kingdom in order to find a peaceful and definite solution to the sovereignty dispute," she said.

Malcorra added that Argentina supported the idea of self-determination, but cautioned that it did not apply to the 3,000 inhabitants of the islands. A spokesman for Britain's UN mission said, however, that there could be no dialogue without the permission of the Falklanders.

Malcorra is one of the leading candidates to replace UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when he leaves office on December 31.

A question of sovereignty

The Falklands have been part of Britain's self-governing overseas territories since 1833. Argentine forces seized the islands in 1982, leading Britain to send a military task force to retake them during a brief war which saw more than 600 Argentine and 255 British servicemen killed. The conflict ultimately led to the collapse of Argentina's military dictatorship.

Mike Summers, a long-serving member of the islands' Legislative Assembly said that the most recent referendum, conducted in 2013, saw 99.8 percent of those who voted wanting to maintain their current status, adding that this sent the "message that the people of the islands do not want dialogue on sovereignty."

"Argentina should respect those wishes," he added. Summers also rejected Malcorra's description of Falkland Islanders as an implanted population.

"We are a people in our own right, who deeply care for our country and our home. We are Falkland Islanders. It has taken us around 160 years to de-colonize from the United Kingdom, and we have no intention of becoming a colony of any other claimant," he stressed.

ss/bk (AP, Reuters)

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