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New Falkland Islands talks

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Argentina and Britain are meeting here this week to try to make headway in resolving their long dispute over the Falkland Islands. Diplomatic observers expect little if any progress in the dispute, however. The problem centers on Argentina's claim of the islands in the South Atlantic, which have been under British control for more than a century.

Talks on the issue have been held intermittently since the 1950s. And in recent years, the United Nations committee on declonization has repeatedly called on the two nations to find a solution to the dispute.

The current talks are being held in what both sides describe as an atmosphere of cordiality. Argentina is represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Cavandoli, while Britain's representative is Nicholas Ridley, a minister of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This year's talks, for the first time, include Falkland Islanders. The two island representatives are opposed to any move to turn the island over to Argentina. Britain insists that the islanders, largely of Scottish extraction, have a say in their own future.

The Argentine claim to the islands, which it calls the Islas Mlavinas, is based on Spanish colonial sovereingty -and also on the fact that they form part of the continental shelf off the coast of Argentina in the South Atlantic.


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