No plan to retake Malvinas islands by force: Argentine FM

14:28, February 26, 2010      

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Argentina said on Thursday that it has no plan to retake the Malvinas islands from Britain by military force.

"Those who take weapons to the water of the South Atlantic and the Malvinas Islands are the British occupying forces. The one using the force is the United Kingdom," Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana said in a statement.

Argentina "will never allow the use of forces to reoccupy the islands," he said. "We will use all the resources of the international law."

After meeting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday in New York, Taiana requested Britain to fulfill the decision of the UN General Assembly and the Decolonization Committee, which includes a call for negotiations between the two countries on the sovereignty of the Malvinas islands.

A readout issued later Wednesday by Ban's spokesperson said Ban expressed satisfaction at Argentina's commitment to resolving its dispute with Britain over the islands in a peaceful manner.

In a statement issued following Taiana's UN visit, Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Grant said that his country "has no doubt about its sovereignty over" the Falkland (called as Malvinas by Argentina) islands.

The Argentine foreign minister said on Thursday that he made that request to Britain "due to the worsening of the situation" because Britain has launched an exploration of hydrocarbons on those islands, which Argentine considers as an illegal activity of accroaching Argentine natural resources.

"What the United Kingdom is doing goes against the decision of the UN, which said that both countries should abstain of carrying out unilateral actions related to the sovereignty of the islands," Taiana said.

"The UN has clearly said that the issue of the Malvinas Islands is about colonialism, where the territorial integrity principal is the most important. Argentina cannot be bereft of its territory," he added.

Argentina and Britain have been at odds over the sovereignty of the islands for decades, and their dispute led to a 74-day war in 1982, which ended in the defeat of Argentina.

Tensions between the two nations have resurfaced recently since Britain announced it would begin exploring the waters around the disputed islands for oil.

Source: Xinhua
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