Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has once again called on British authorities to enter talks over the Malvinas Islands at the United Nations.
The request came on Tuesday, after Timerman along with other South American ministers met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said the UK has declined the Argentinean offer to hold discussions on the islands’ sovereignty.
The British settlers on the island voted on March 10 and 11 on a British referendum to ratify the inhabitants’ right to remain an overseas territory of the UK.
Timerman described the referendum as “illegal,” adding that it is “truly deplorable” that Britain has discarded 40 resolutions by the UN Decolonization Committee calling for negotiations between Argentina and Britain on the Malvinas’ sovereignty.
He went on to say that Pope Francis I backs Argentina’s territorial claims on the islands.
The foreign minister also condemned Britain’s “military invasion” of the Malvinas Islands, saying that London wants the territory as a military base “with high offensive technology close to the Antarctic and close to the only natural waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific.”
According to the Argentinean foreign minister, Britain has also refused to answer, “if there are nuclear submarines or not in the area of the south Atlantic, which is an area of peace where the entry of nuclear weapons is prohibited.”
On the same day, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, representing the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States; Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Luis Almargo, representing South America’s Mercosur trade bloc; and Peru’s Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Beraun, on behalf of the Union of South American Nations, all gave their support to Argentina’s claim to the islands and its demand for sovereignty discussions.
Stressing that the dispute is “becoming intolerable” for Latin America and for the UN itself, Almargo accused Britain of wanting to exploit the islands’ energy resources. He added that the UK had no right to cut off part of Argentina through a so-called referendum.
Argentina and Britain fought a 74-day war in 1982 over the islands, which ended with the British side claiming victory over the Argentineans.
Located about 300 miles off Argentina’s coast and home to about 3,000 inhabitants, the islands have been declared part of the British Overseas Territories since Britain established its colonial rule on the territories in 1833.
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