The Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has denied remarks attributed to him that the Falkland Islands belonged to Argentina and instead urged a compromise solution over the contested territory.
The musician claimed that comments made at a press conference in Santiago, Chile, had been misquoted by the Argentinian media. A spate of celebrities, led by Sean Penn and Morrissey, had publicly backed Argentina’s claim over the Islands, fuelling rising tensions over the 30th anniversary of the 1982 war over the territory.
In a statement explaining his position, the creator of The Wall stage show said: “The sound of sabres rattling is rising again. I am not a politician or a diplomat, and have no ready solution, but I am convinced it’s time to sue for peace and seek a compromise, not push for victory.
“At the end of the day what really matters is that not one more drop of blood is shed on the altar of the imperial aspirations of long dead kings.”
Waters did not clarify a separate comment to a Chilean TV channel last week when he said that he thought that the Falklands “should be Argentine”.
The performer, who this week arrived in Buenos Aires to perform nine sold-out shows in and is due to meet Argentinian President President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, said: “The tragedy of 1982, when 900 young lives were lost was that it was caused by the folly of two political leaders, Galtieri and Thatcher, who were both losing their grip on the reins of power and used the conflict as a distraction.
“It was described at the time by a Chilean commentator as being like, ‘Two bald men fighting over a comb’.”
In his statement, Waters considered the dispute a throwback to colonialism. “The history of the Islands is the story of two opposing colonial monarchies England and Spain batting the territory back and forth back in the day when Empire building was de-riguer,” Waters said.