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ARGENTINA | 03-11-2022 23:40

Argentina urges UK to resume talks over Malvinas Islands sovereignty

Spurred on by reports that Britain is willing to open sovereignty talks with Mauritius over the Chagos Islands, Argentina's Foreign Ministry again calls on the UK to begin negotiations over the Malvinas.

Reacting to diplomatic manoeuvrings, Argentina's Foreign Ministry on Thursday urged the United Kingdom to resume negotiations over the sovereignty of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands.

The request was made after the British government agreed to hold talks on the future of the Chagos Islands, another disputed territory, with the Republic of Mauritius.

"Today is a momentous day for all the peoples who are fighting to put an end to colonialism in all its forms and who, like our country, have been defending their legitimate sovereign rights for more than 189 years," said Guillermo Carmona, Argentina's  Secretary for Malvinas, Antarctica and the South Atlantic, in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry said Carmona was reacting to reports that the UK has agreed to open talks over the future handover of the Chagos Islands. The Republic of Mauritius claims sovereignty over the archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which is a British territory.

London "must comply with Resolution 2065 [of the United Nations] on the Malvinas Question," said Carmona.

"We reiterate, once again, the call to the United Kingdom to resume sovereignty negotiations on the Malvinas Question," said the official.

A 1965 United Nations resolution requires Argentina and the UK to enter into direct negotiations over the sovereignty of the islands, which has been disputed since 1833.

However, the United Kingdom has refused to open talks, saying it cannot start such negotiations because the population of the islands voted overwhelmingly in a referendum in 2013 in favour of retaining membership of the British crown.

London therefore argues that any talks must be approved by the inhabitants of the islands, an argument rejected by Buenos Aires.

In his statement, Carmona assured that "the path followed by the Republic of Mauritius, appealing to all the tools that international relations and international law offer, is the same that the international community and Argentina have been promoting" for decades.

In 1982, Argentina and the UK fought a short war over the Malvinas in which 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British soldiers and three locals were killed. The conflict ended in victory for the British forces.

The UN General Assembly has recognised the existence of a sovereignty dispute between the two countries since 1965, and every year the UN Decolonisation Committee calls for a "peaceful settlement of the dispute."

 

– TIMES/AFP

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