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UN at square one on Falklands

Moves to resolve the Falklands crisis peacefully are back to square one.

UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar's attempt ''to stop the fighting in less than seven days,'' as mandated by the Security Council, never got off the ground, reports Monitor correspondent Louis Wiznitzer. Mr. Perez de Cuellar plans to inform the council before the fixed deadline that he has not been able to persuade either side to settle for less by negotiation than what it hopes to obtain through force.

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Britain's position with regard to a ceasefire now reportedly includes three preconditions: repossession of the islands, repair of damages caused by the fighting, and reactivation of the councils representing the inhabitants. Not only does this stance imply Argentina's unconditional surrender, but ''it does not allow for negotiations to start before six or eight months, coinciding perhaps with new parliamentary elections in Britain,'' one diplomat suggests.

Argentina, meanwhile, is still demanding an immediate ceasefire, to be followed by negotiations aimed at mutual withdrawal of forces.

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