Argentina takes disputed British oil drilling at Falklands to UN

Argentine pressed UN to intervene in an ongoing row over oil drilling by a British firm in waters off the disputed Falkland Islands.

Argentina takes disputed British oil drilling at Falklands to UN

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana pressed UN chief Ban Ki-moon to intervene in an ongoing row over oil drilling by a British firm in waters off the disputed Falkland Islands.

"We have asked the secretary general, within the framework of his good offices, to stress to Britain the need to abstain from further unilateral acts," Taiana told reporters after calling on Ban at UN headquarters.

Saber-rattling has surged in recent days over the Falklands following the start of oil drilling off the islands.

Eight years after the islands' government auctioned off oil exploration licenses, a British firm, Desire Petroleum, started drilling in waters of the South Atlantic archipelago on Monday.

The aim of the drilling is to establish if the promise of deep oil reserves is well-founded, but analysts say the British Geological Society's prediction of 60 billion barrels is almost certainly inflated.

Taiana called on Ban to impress on London "the need to comply with repeated resolutions of the 192-member General Assembly and its decolonization committee," and the need "to sit down at the negotiating table with Argentina over the sovereignty dispute over the islands."

A UN statement said Ban took note of "Argentina's concerns regarding the Falkland Islands" and reiterated that "his good offices are available when requested by all parties in a dispute."

"The secretary general expressed satisfaction at Argentina's commitment to resolving its dispute with the United Kingdom over the islands in a peaceful manner," it added.

Britain has rejected Argentine objections to the oil exploration, saying the drilling is within international law.

"British sovereignty in respect of the Falklands is absolutely clear in international law," Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Tuesday.

Tuesday, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner signed a decree ordering any ship passing through Argentine waters to request permission before going to the islands, which lie 280 miles off the Argentine coast.

And Latin American and Caribbean leaders this week called on Britain and Argentina to hold talks to resolve their dispute and voiced full support for Buenos Aires.

The summit of 32 nations in Mexico expressed "support for the legitimate rights of the Republic of Argentina in the sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" relating to islands.

Last year, the government submitted a claim to the United Nations to extend its rights over the seabed off the coast of the Falkland Islands.

Under international law, states have jurisdiction over the seabed up to 200 nautical miles off their coasts but this can be extended up to 350 nautical miles through application to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. 

Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2010, 16:28
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