Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Argentina seeking allies as Falklands row escalates

Argentina is to make its case for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands to other Latin American countries as tensions over potential oil reserves in the South Atlantic grow.

The country's foreign minister Jorge Taiana will ask other countries in a meeting of the Rio Group in Mexico to back his government's claim to control the waters to “Las Islas Malvinas”.

The row over the disputed islands has reignited after the discovery of £60bn worth of gas and oil reserves off the Falklands.

In London, Gordon Brown insisted international law allows British firms to operate freely in the area. Argentina has said their operations violate its sovereignty and announced this week that boats sailing from its ports to the islands would need a permit. “It is perfectly within our rights to be able to do this. I think the Argentinians actually understand that,” said Mr Brown. “Sensible discussions will prevail on this.”

The Conservative Foreign Secretary, William Hague, called for “some sort of increased naval presence — it may just be one more ship visiting more regularly in the region, adding: “It would send a signal not to misunderstand British intentions.”

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