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Britain, Argentina must reassess Falklands issue

Need of the hour is to adopt constructive dialogue, instead of goading over a long-standing dispute

Gulf News

The Falkland islands have, for long, been disputed territory. Earlier accounts of who first sighted it and who first landed on it are also disputed. The fact that the residents of the island now come under British sovereignty, under the principles of self-determination, is also well documented.

Recent statements made by the Argentinean President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in an open letter to Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his subsequent harsh reactions to it, are now threatening to lift the lid on the islands’ issues once again.

The dispute has degenerated into a classic case of political rhetoric between Britain and Argentina. The need of the hour, however, is to adopt constructive dialogue, instead of goading each other, before proclamations give way to provocation that may, ultimately, result in unnecessary and irresponsible action.

It is imperative that both countries reassess their priorities at this moment. Another crisis can result in needless expenditure — both states cannot afford it at the moment — while the benefits of diplomatic possibilities must be looked at since it could have a reassuring impact on multiple platforms.

The two leaders must take their egos out of the equation. The Falklands is a little more than just an issue to bolster their political reputations. The well-being of its inhabitants is foremost.