Argentina demands Britain hand over Falklands


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, March 3, 1982 (UPI) -- Argentina is threatening to break diplomatic relations with Britain if the Falkland Islands are not handed back by next year's 150th anniversary of the British presence on the islands, a Foreign Ministry source said Wednesday.

The source said he could not confirm news reports that Argentina would use force to seize the islands in the South Atlantic 300 miles off its coast if a solution to the dispute is not reached soon.


''No diplomat can talk about the use of force,'' the source said. ''A decision of that nature is taken without announcing it previously.

''We also believe that it will not be necessary to take the case to extremes as we trust that the British will be reasonable,'' the source said. ''But the situation as it is now cannot continue as we have negotiated for 15 years without any progress.''

The foreign ministry source said that if a solution to the conflict is ''not reached soon, Argentina will break relations.'' The source said that the solution would have to come before the 150th anniversary of the British presence on the islands, which have a population of less than 2,000.


La Prensa columnist J. Iglesias Rouco said Argentina is seriously considering breaking relations with Britain and ordering a military occupation of the wind-swept islands known in Spanish as the Malvinas.

Rouco said the military government in no way feels satisfied with the results of recent talks between British and Argentine delegations in New York.

British troops occupied the islands in 1833, expelling the Argentine governor.

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