Argentine Prez renews claims on oil-rich Falkland Islands

Argentine Prez Kirchner proposed to "universalize" her country`s claims over potentially oil-rich Falkland Islands.

Updated: Apr 03, 2010, 20:10 PM IST

Buenos Aires: Argentine President Cristina Kirchner proposed to "universalize" her country`s claims over the potentially oil-rich Falkland Islands, but vowed not to resort to military force.
Kirchner spoke Friday in the southern city of Ushuaia at a ceremony marking the 28th anniversary of the war between Argentina and Britain in 1982 over the archipelago.

Britain successfully reclaimed the south Atlantic Ocean islands -- known in Argentina as the Malvinas -- following an Argentine military invasion, but Buenos Aires has never abandoned its ownership claim.

"The Falklands claim transcends Argentina. It is a paradigm that goes beyond the Malvinas. It must be a national issue but also a universal example of the world, the society in which we live," Kirchner said at the event in the memory of Argentina`s 649 soldiers who died in the 74 days of fighting.

Argentina has ratcheted up it claims of sovereignty over the archipelago after a British firm began drilling for oil there in February.

Kirchner said Great Britain "does not respect" UN resolutions asking the two countries to start negotiations over the issue.

Britain has occupied the islands since 1833 and has said there is nothing to discus regarding sovereignty because the 3,000-odd islanders wish to remain British.

Various events were held throughout Argentina Friday in memory of those killed in the Falklands War.

In Buenos Aires, about 500 people protested before the British Embassy, calling for the ambassador to recognize the islands as Argentine territory.

Bureau Report