Hurd to discuss war crime claim: Argentinian minister in Falklands talks

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Argentina's foreign minister, Guido di Tella, is to meet the Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, today to discuss bilateral issues, including allegations that war crimes were committed by British soldiers during the Falklands war.

Last night Mr di Tella emphasised the importance his government attached to the investigation of the allegations. Mr di Tella, who is in Britain for a private visit, said: 'We did not make the allegations. But now they have been made, they must be investigated.'

The Argentine armed forces, he said, were investigating the alleged shooting by British soldiers of Argentine prisoners. The investigation includes the case of Oscar Carrizo, a Falklands war veteran who described last week how he survived an 'execution' by two British paratroopers.

Mr di Tella said: 'There are some people in the UK who do not think these things should be investigated - that it maligns the reputation of the Task Force. But there is trust now between Britain and Argentina and we trust the British judicial system. We have no reason not to. But we would have reason not to trust it if this investigation were stopped.'

The investigaton had not adversely affected relations between Britain and Argentina. 'We are not worried about the investigation. We are only worried about it being mishandled, for instance, if the investigation was stopped. We also think that the sooner it is finished the better. It is in everybody's best interests.'

The issue of the Falkand Islands remains highly sensitive in Argentina, he said. Last week, Mr di Tella met some Falkland Islanders who are studying in Britain, but his request to meet Sukie Cameron, the Falklands Islands Government representative in London, was vetoed by the Falkland Islands Council by five votes to three.

'I'll keep trying,' Mr di Tella said. 'I'm a persistent person.'