BUENOS AIRES – The Argentine government on Sunday accused Britain of “demolishing” the multilateral system “based on equality among the parties” by rejecting negotiations with the South American country concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
“With its attitude, Great Britain continues demolishing the multilateral system that was born from the horrors of the Second World War based on equality among the parties,” Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said in a statement.
“If Great Britain, a member of the (U.N.) Security Council, violates the resolutions voted on by the rest of the members, does it have the right to demand that other countries comply with them? Only weapons remain to it. It remains only to continue adding victims to have more and more dead to ‘honor,’” the statement said.
Timerman alluded to the U.N. resolutions that urge Argentina and Britain to sit down to negotiate the sovereignty of the islands, ownership of which was the cause of a brief but bloody war between the two countries in 1982.
“A country that does not possess the nuclear weapons that Great Britain secretly deploys across the oceans of the world cannot imagine resisting 39 United Nations resolutions demanding that it sit down to negotiate with Argentina,” said the statement, entitled “Let us honor the dead by building peace.”
Britain should agree to negotiate the sovereignty of the islands so that it does not “continue maintaining in the Malvinas the most militarized zone in the world,” Timerman said, using the name the islands are known by throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
There is “a certain dark humor (in the fact) that the British defense minister selected the Sky News television channel to demand apologies for the creativity of showing, in a peaceful way, that colonialism still exists,” Timerman said.
Sky News has “Mr. Rupert Murdoch as a stockholder, whose reporters stole mails, tapped telephones and paid for the information of artists and important members of his government’s political opposition,” the foreign minister said.
Prime Minister David Cameron should respond to Argentina’s request “to allow the identification of the many Argentine and British soldiers who are buried in graves without names on the territory illegally occupied by its armed forces,” Timerman said.
The government communique comes at the same time as an increase in tension between Britain and Argentina on the 30th anniversary of the war for the islands that left some 900 dead.
Argentina, ruled by a military junta at the time, invaded and occupied the islands on April 2, 1982, and Britain deployed a military task force to the region that wrested control of the archipelago from the South American country within 74 days.
Of the some 900 military personnel killed in the conflict, about 650 were Argentines and about half of those died when Britain sank the General Belgrano, an Argentine light cruiser, about midway through the war.
The British claim to sovereignty dates from 1690, and the United Kingdom has exercised de facto sovereignty over the archipelago almost continuously since 1833. However, Argentina has long disputed this claim, having been in control of the islands for a brief period prior to 1833.
Contemporary Falkland Islanders hold British citizenship and consider themselves to be British. They voted overwhelmingly in 1994 to reject any form of discussion of sovereignty under any circumstances, preferring to remain British.