A papal envoy has been in Chile to inquire into the dispute between Chile and Argentina over the Beagle channel islands at the southern tip of South America.
A papal envoy has been in Chile to inquire into the dispute between Chile and Argentina over the Beagle channel islands at the southern tip of South America. Cardinal Antonio Samore arrived from Buenos Aires where he had discussed the dispute with Argentina's leaders.
SYNOPSIS: Cardinal Samore was accorded a full ceremonial welcome when he stepped from the plane at Santiago. Chile pressed for mediation in the dispute by the Pope, and had conveyed this proposal in a note to Argentina's ambassador. Foreign Minister Hernan Cubillos, who met Cardinal Samore at the airport, is quoted by Reuters News Agency as saying the two countries had agreed on December the 12th to accept the Holy See as mediator, but failed to agree on other points. The initiative was abruptly ended and Foreign Minister Cubillos said Argentina had slammed the door on a peaceful solution.
Cardinal Samore told reporters he was on a fact-finding mission and was not involved in negotiations between the two governments. He said he was not without hoped for peace.
As Cardinal Samore conferred with President Augusto Pinochet, Chilean and Argentine troops faced each other over their common frontier, fuelling rumours that the quarrel over the three small islands could lead to war. At the end of his visit, Cardinal Samore said both countries were willing to settle their dispute peacefully, but added that their differences could not be reconciled in a day.