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'Falkland Islands 'were on verge of being shared by Britain, Argentina in 1974 deal'

London, Wed, 14 Mar 2012 ANI

London, Mar 14(ANI): Britain was on the verge of sharing the Falkland Islands with Argentina almost 40 years ago, with islanders having joint nationality, it has been claimed.


The deal was accepted by former Argentine President Juan Domingo Per¢n with "euphoria" in 1974, but was never finalized because he died three weeks after the offer was made, according to a document accessed by Argentine newspaper La Nacion.


"The British and Argentine flags would fly side by side and the official languages would be English and Spanish. All 'belongers' of the island would possess dual nationality. Before final agreement the Islanders would have to be formally consulted and their acceptance sought by some form of popular representation," The Telegraph quoted the document, as saying.


"On this basis, Her Majesty's Government propose that, if the Argentine Government agree, official or preliminary official talks should take place in Buenos Aires as soon as possible," he added.


British ambassador to Argentina James Hutton had handed the note to Alberto Vignes, the Argentine foreign minister at a meeting on June 11, 1974.


But Peron, who reacted with "euphoria" on the offer, died of a heart attack following pneumonia on July 1, and was succeeded by his dancer wife, Isabel.


The plan was later dropped, as Britain did not trust Per¢n's wife and successor, Mar¡a Estela Mart¡nez to go ahead with the plan, the report added.


"This (document) does not detract from Argentina's illegal and unjustified act of aggression in invading the islands, nor from our belief that the Falkland Islanders should have the final say in their own futures," a Foreign Office spokesperson said.


Tensions between Britain and Argentina have escalated in recent months before 30th anniversary of Britain's successful war to liberate the Falklands. (ANI)


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