Argentine President talks Falklands dispute with Pope Francis
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has asked for the Pope's help in the Falklands dispute between her country and the UK.
After having lunch with the Argentine Pope Francis, who was last week elected as head of the Catholic Church, Kirchner told reporters she had asked him to promote dialogue between the two sides.
"I asked for his intervention to avoid problems that could emerge from the militarization of Great Britain in the south Atlantic," Kirchner said.
"We want a dialogue and that's why we asked the pope to intervene so that the dialogue is successful."
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There has been no word yet as to how the Pope responded.
The 76-year-old has hard-line views on his country's right to the contested territory, sparking fears his election might reignite the row over the Falklands.
During a Mass last year to mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, he called the British “usurpers” and claimed the Argentines who died in the conflict 1982 were “reclaiming what is theirs”.
Kirchner believes the Falkland Islands - the “Islas Malvinas” - are part of their national territory, taken from them by the British in 1833.
But the UK, which has sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, insists the argument is unfounded, because no Argentine civilian population was ever expelled.