Buenos Aires: Argentina has ruled out military action to reassert its sovereignty claims over the Falkland Islands, but insists on negotiations with Britain over oil exploration in what Argentina considers to be its territorial waters, a top diplomat said on Friday.
Residents of the islands Argentina occupied for two months in 1982 don`t need to worry about another war, but they should clearly understand that the South American nation won`t give up its claims to the islands it calls Las Malvinas, Deputy Foreign Minister Victorio Taccetti said in an interview with FM Milenium radio.
With oil and gas exploration about to begin in the Falklands, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has decreed that any boat travelling to or from the islands must get prior permission from her country.
Britain energetically repudiated the decree, telling ships to ignore her.
Taccetti said the main objective is to negotiate Buenos Aires` sovereignty claims with Britain, which defeated Argentina in 1982 in a brief but bloody war.
Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana will ask his counterparts at the Rio Group summit in Cancun next week to condemn what he called Britain`s "unilateral and illegal" exploration in the islands. Taiana then travels to the United States for an audience on the same theme with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday pledged his support for Argentina, saying Britain is "violating international law."
"Get out of there, give the Malvinas back to the Argentine people. Enough already with the empire," Chavez said.