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OAS calls for talks on Falkland sovereignty

LIMA, June 8 (Reuters) - The Organization of American States called on Tuesday for Britain and Argentina to re-open talks on the sovereignty of the disputed Falkland Islands, where a British company has made a major oil find.

Argentina, which has claimed the South Atlantic islands since Britain established its rule in the 19th century, invaded them in 1982, sparking a two-month war that ended with Argentina’s defeat and withdrawal from the archipelago.

The OAS -- a hemispheric forum that includes all nations in the Americas except Cuba and Honduras -- voted at a meeting in Lima, Peru in favor of a resolution demanding the two nations restart talks on the archipelago’s sovereignty.

Peru’s representative to the OAS announced that the vote was unanimous.

Argentina objects to plans by British oil explorer Rockhopper RKH.L to develop the Sea Lion well, the first oil discovery in the islands. [ID:nLDE6530AA]

“This illegal activity has many environmental risks for the region, as we’re seeing now in the Gulf of Mexico,” Argentina’s foreign minister, Jorge Taina, told the OAS general assembly in Lima.

“In addition there is also the belligerent and aggressive attitude the British government has, which is also a cause of concern for the continent as a whole,” he said.

In addition, the OAS general also decided that it was no yet the time to readmit Honduras, which was expelled from the group following a coup last June. [ID:nN07204027]

Instead the OAS decided to send a mission to Honduras that will assess the state of democracy in the Central American country and produce a report that would be used to decide whether to readmit Honduras at a future date.