Costa Rica reiterated its firm support of Argentina’s legitimate rights in the dispute over the Malvines Island, said the country’s foreign minister during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The minister, Enrique Castillo was commenting after a meeting with Argentina’s foreign minister who is visiting the country. The legitimate rights were not defined further.
A statement by Castillo’s Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto also said there was a regional interest in having both Argentina and the British government renew negotiations to find in the shortest time possible a solution to the dispute over sovereignty.
The Malvinas are known to the British as the Falkland Island, a self-governing overseas territory. Argentina invaded the islands in 1982 under the leadership of the ruling military junta. The British government, headed then by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, sent a task force to engage the Argentine military. Britain has controlled the islands since 1833, and the dispute with Argentina is long-running.
The war cost Argentine 649 dead and contributed to the
ousting of the military government. The British lost 255 soldiers, and that country considers the matter settled by Argentina’s surrender in the war.
The ministry statement said that Castillo would stand by the resolutions and pronouncements by the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
The islands in question also include the South Georgias and the South Sandwich islands.
Costa Rica, of course, is involved in a territorial dispute of its own with the northern neighbor, Nicaragua. That country invaded a northern portion of Costa Rica more than a year ago, and Costa Rica is engaged in a protracted case at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
The Malvinas dispute was just one of many points discussed during their meeting that ran more than two hours. Héctor Timerman is the Argentine foreign minister. He said Castillo will visit Argentina in June to continue the dialogue.
Timerman’s father, Jacobo, was a newspaper editor who was arrested and subjected to extended torture by the military regime. He later wrote “Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number,” which was made into a movie.