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Argentina President Fernandez hopes to start new flights from Buenos Aires to Falklands
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) ' Argentine President Cristina Fernandez made a surprise conciliatory gesture Thursday by seeking negotiations with the United Kingdom to establish three weekly flights from Buenos Aires to the Falkland Islands.
No flights currently connect the British-controlled islands with Argentina, which also claims sovereignty over them. Only two weekly flights run by LAN airlines travel from Chile over Argentine airspace to the islands about 300 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the Argentine coast.
Fernandez told her country's Congress on Thursday that she would like to establish the flights for state-owned Aerolineas Argentinas.
The announcement comes at a moment of tension as the two countries are preparing to mark the 30th anniversary of the war they fought over the islands.
Argentina recently stopped two British-flagged cruise ships from docking in the far southern Argentine city of Ushuia, after the U.K. sent a navy destroyer to the islands.
The president said Thursday that the islands "have become a regional, American and global cause ... that is necessary to address with much seriousness."
She also condemned what she said was the "stubborn, incomprehensible refusal" of the U.K. to negotiate the sovereignty of the Falklands.