The Presidents of Chile and Argentina are to meet again next week for a new round of talks aimed at resolving their South Atlantic territorial dispute.
The Presidents of Chile and Argentina are to meet again next week for a new round of talks aimed at resolving their South Atlantic territorial dispute. Presidents Augusto Pinochet of Chile and Jorge Videla of Argentina had more than 10 hours of discussions when they met on Thursday (19 January), but afterwards, in a joint communique, said they were to continue negotiations at another meeting.
SYNOPSIS: Strict security was enforced at the Argentinean airbase of Plumerillo in Mendoza where the leaders met. All flights were suspended. The dispute arises from the question of who should control three small islands in the Beagle Channel. An international commission has awarded sovereignty to Chile, but Argentina claims this would contravene an earlier agreement.
After weeks of growing tension, the two leaders had agreed to meet. Following nearly 10 hours of secret discussions, the waiting press were issued with a carefully-worded joint communique which said both nations had fixed the basis for concluding an understanding that would allow a solution satisfying their common interest. It said the leaders would meet somewhere in Chile next week. Military sources said that this meeting would be in the Chilean city of Portillo, in the Andes near the border with Argentine. Argentina has until February the 2nd to accept or reject the commission's decision. It has yet to formally announce its reaction, but in a newspaper interview earlier this month, the Argentinean Foreign Minister, Senor Oscar Montes, said Argentinean territorial sovereignty over the South Atlantic Coast to Cape Horn was "absolutely indisputable." Before the leaders 'meeting were agreed, the Argentinean navy launched much-publicised manoeuvres in the South Atlantic near the disputed islands.