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Argentina asks pope to help on Falklands dispute

Monday - 3/18/2013, 12:43pm  ET

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis stands by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez showing a picture of a marble plaque commemorating the 1984 peace and friendship treaty between Argentina and Chile as they meet at the Pope's temporary apartments in the Santa Marta hotel at the Vatican, Monday, March 18, 2013. Inscription in Latin reads: "In the fifth year of Benedict XVI's pontificate, after 25 years from the peace and friendship treaty reached with the mediation of Pope John Paul II, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Jeria and Argentine President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner in remembrance of the efforts, Casina Pio IV, on November 28, 2009." (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez says she has asked Pope Francis to help defuse the long-running dispute between Argentina and Britain over the Falkland Islands.

Fernandez told journalists after she met with the new, Argentine-born pope Monday at the Vatican that she has asked for his intercession to "facilitate dialogue" over the islands, which Argentina claims and calls the Malvinas.

Just last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he doesn't agree with Francis' views on the Falklands. When Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had been quoted as saying that Britain "usurped" the remote islands.

Argentina and Britain fought a 1982 war over the islands. Earlier this month, the islanders voted overwhelmingly to remain a British Overseas Territory.

It was not immediately known how Francis responded to Fernandez' request.


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