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Chile reassures support to docking ban on Malvinas' ships

(Xinhua)

13:32, December 27, 2011

SANTIAGO, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chile reassured its supports to a Mercosur's declaration which bans Malvinas-flagged ships to dock at ports within the trading bloc, an official with the Chilean foreign ministry said on Monday.

Chilean Vice Foreign Minister Fernando Schmidt said those ships won't be received by Mercosur member countries and associate members.

The disputed territory, which is claimed by both Argentina and Britain, is called Falkland by Britain and has been under British control since 1833.

The two countries fought a two-month war over the territory in 1982, resulting in the deaths of 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers.

Tensions over the islands have mounted recently due to intensified oil exploration activities in the vicinity.

The decision to ban Malvinas-flagged ships was made during the 42th Mercosur Summit held last week in Montevideo, Uruguay, in a bid to show the bloc's solidary with Argentina on its sovereignty over the islands.

Chile is an associate member of Mercosur, whose member countries include Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

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