Latin American states have thrown their support behind Argentina over the country’s long-standing dispute with Britain on Malvinas Islands, Press TV reports.
At a forum called, “Malvinas, a Latin American Cause,” held by Argentina’s National School of Government in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, Latin American diplomats and officials voiced their support for Argentina’s position on Malvinas sovereignty and questioned the UK’s “militarization” of the disputed South Atlantic archipelago.
The Malvinas Islands, located about 300 miles off Argentina’s coast, have been declared as part of the British Overseas Territories since Britain established its colonial rule on the islands in 1833.
“Integration is a key element to raise our voices, play a role in the world and achieve real development. We have no future if we do not stand united to defend the Malvinas cause, development of our nations and strength of our democracies,” Peru’s Ambassador to Argentina Nicolas Lynch told Press TV.
Regional blocks, including the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), Union of South American Countries (UNASUR) and the recently-created Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) have all supported Argentina’s position on dialogue and negotiations with the UK.
In December, MERCOSUR´s members -- Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay -- decided to close their ports to Malvinas-flagged ships.
“Today, we have governments and leaderships that work on the idea of American and Caribbean integration. It is impossible to form the Latin American and Caribbean unity if colonial expressions persist,” said Venezuelan Ambassador to Argentina Carlos Martinez Mendoza.
Britain and Argentina fought a 74-day war in 1982 over the islands.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated since 2010, when Britain authorized the exploration of oil in Malvinas waters. The deployment of Britain’s most sophisticated warship, HMS Dauntless, and a nuclear submarine to the islands have also mounted the tensions over the Malvinas Islands in recent months.
The United Nations (UN) has called on Britain to discuss decolonization. The UK has so far refused to do so.