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Argentina Says to Discuss Falklands War Dead with UK

(AFP) – Argentina says it has agreed with Britain to discuss exhuming and identifying Argentines who were buried in the Falklands after being killed in the countries’ 1982 war over the islands.

Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra said Tuesday the two governments planned to meet in mid-December in Geneva along with representatives of the Red Cross.

“The meeting will define a protocol for the exhumations” of 123 Argentine soldiers buried in a cemetery on East Falkland Island, known in Spanish as Isla Soledad, she said.

Red Cross personnel have visited the site in the South Atlantic and carried out a preliminary evaluation, she said.

Malcorra said her country has asked that an Argentine forensic expert be allowed to join in the Red Cross’s preliminary investigations.

Families of Argentine troops killed in the conflict have long demanded that their loved ones be identified.

Britain and Argentina fought a brief war over the islands, known as Las Malvinas in Spanish, in 1982 after Argentine forces occupied them.

The conflict killed 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British soldiers and three islanders.

Argentina argues it inherited the windswept islands from Spain when it gained independence in the 19th century.

But Britain says it has historically ruled them and that the 3,000 islanders have the right to self-determination.

In a 2013 referendum, residents voted overwhelmingly to remain part of Britain.

After years of testy relations under former leftist governments, Argentina has pursued a cautious rapprochement with Britain under current President Mauricio Macri.

The countries agreed a series of deals in September covering oil, fishing, navigation and trade in and around the islands.

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