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Argentina FM thanks Abbas for support in island dispute

Jan. 3, 2011 8:53 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2011 4:57 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Argentine Foreign Affairs Minister on Sunday thanked President Mahmoud Abbas for his support in the country's dispute over the Malvinas Islands, occupied by British forces in 1833.

Marking the 178th anniversary of the islands' occupation on Monday, the Argentinian representative to the Palestinian Authority pointed to similarities between the Malvinas Islands and Palestine.

Both countries were under unfair and anachronistic occupation, the Ramallah-based office said, and both cases revealed double standards in the implementation of UN resolutions.

Further, foreign powers were exploiting the resources of both territories, the representative office said.

The Argentine government said in a statement that while Argentina and the UK have entered provisional understandings on practical issues relating to the territory, the UK refuses to address the question of sovereignty and continues to commit violations in the area.

"These unlawful unilateral acts by the United Kingdom include exploitation and exploration activities with regard to renewable and non-renewable natural resources as well as military exercises, involving the firing of missiles from the Malvinas Islands," the government said.

Argentina expressed its willingness to resume bilateral negotiations with the UK "in order to find a definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute and putting an end to this anachronistic colonial situation that is inconsistent with the evolution of the modern world."

Argentina recently announced its recognition of Palestinian state, joining several other Latin American countries including Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador.

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