Brazil's Lula reaffirms support to Argentina over disputed islands

12:55, February 24, 2010      

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Tuesday that the discussion over the sovereignty claim of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands should be reopened.

In a speech during the Group of Rio summit, President Lula criticized the British control in the region and reaffirmed his support to Argentina over the jurisdiction of the Malvinas, which were claimed by both Argentina and Britain.

"Our stance is of solidarity with Argentina. What is the geographic, political and economic explanation for Britain's presence in the Malvinas?" the president said, using the Spanish name for the islands.

"It is impossible that Argentina does not own the Malvinas but Britain, which is 14,000 km away, does," Lula said.

He also disapproved of the United Nations' stance on the Malvinas issue. The president criticized the UN for not taking Argentina's interests on the matter and questioned the current structure of the UN Security Council.

"Just because Britain is a member of the UN Security Council, they can do everything and others can do nothing," he said.

A diplomatic row between Argentina and Britain broke out after a British oil firm, Desire Petroleum, began drilling Monday in the waters off the Malvinas islands, which Britons call the Falklands.

The two countries fought a 74-day war over the control of the south Atlantic islands in 1982, and Argentina was defeated.

Source: Xinhua
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