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Argentina asks pope to help on Falklands dispute

Updated at: 03/18/2013 11:39 AM
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(AP) VATICAN CITY - 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.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)