Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 12:35 UK

Argentina's Fernandez criticises Falklands talks rebuff

Cristine Fernenadez de Kirchner in Madrid
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was critical of Britain's "unilateral practices"

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has criticised the British government for its refusal to discuss the sovereignty of the Falklands.

Ms Fernandez said Britain's response to her request to re-open negotiations on the disputed islands was a mistake.

A senior British official had rebuffed her demand saying that there was "no doubt" about Britain's sovereignty.

Argentina has long laid claim to the islands in the South Atlantic which they call Las Malvinas.

Unilateral moves?

Speaking at the EU-Latin America summit in Madrid, President Fernandez said she would continue to press for talks, in line with a United Nations call for dialogue between the two countries.

She said it was important for both nations to "respect the treaties, the international law and not to impose unilateral decisions".

British Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne had earlier also invoked UN law saying that the "principle of self-determination as set out in the UN charter" applied to the islands.

He said there could be no negotiations about their status unless the Falkland Islanders themselves wanted them.

The two countries went to war in 1982 after Argentina invaded the islands, with British forces retaking them after a short conflict.

Their dispute over the islands came to the fore again this year when Argentina accused the UK of breaking international rules forbidding unilateral development in disputed waters.

Britain nevertheless went ahead with its plan to allow oil drilling under a seabed off the islands.

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