Argentine president thanks L America for support on Malvinas(Falkland) Islands

12:04, February 27, 2010      

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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Friday thanked fellow Latin American leaders for their support in its sovereignty dispute with Britain over the Malvinas(Falkland) Islands.

Speaking at a ceremony for "South America Sail 2010" in Mar del Plata, 405 km southeast of Buenos Aires, Fernandez thanked fellow Latin American nations for the declaration issued by the Group of Rio during its summit in Mexico earlier this week.

"I want to thank all the brother countries of Latin America for their unbreakable solidarity in the case to reoccupy our Malvinas Islands," Fernandez said.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Friday reiterated support for Argentina's rights over the Malvinas Islands and stressed the "strategic" ties between the two countries.

"Chile has always taken the only posture of recognizing the legitimate rights of Argentina on the Malvinas Islands," Bachelet said in Mar del Plata, after attending the ceremony.

"On this occasion I want to express my deepest conviction about the strategic importance of our bilateral ties," Bachelet said.

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana denied in a statement on Thursday that his country would use military force to reoccupy the Malvinas Islands.

"The Argentine democracy will never allow the use of force to reoccupy the islands. We will use all the resources of the international law to defend the sovereignty of our country," Taiana said.

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.

The Malvinas, or the Falklands as the British call it, are home to 3,000 people of British descent and is controlled by Britain, but Argentina maintains they are part of its Tierra del Fuego province.

Four British companies have been trying to explore oil in the waters off Malvinas after the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina, reports said.

Source: Xinhua
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