Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner confronts David Cameron over Falklands


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Indy Politics

In a moment of unusual diplomatic drama, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, confronted the Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner about their Falklands Islands dispute suggesting to her that her recent remonstrations, notably at the United Nations last week, had been "unacceptable".

The encounter, which happened in a corridor of the convention centre where the G20 summit was taking place, ended on a fractious note, moreover. Mrs Kirchner was witnessed trying to press a large A4 envelope "stuffed with documents" into the hands of Mr Cameron; he refused it.

It seemed as if the altercation and the non-delivery of the letter may have been deliberately staged by Mrs Kirchner. Last week she used a meeting of an obscure committee of the UN in New York to berate Britain for refusing to enter negotiations on the future of the islands. At the end of that meeting, members of a Falklands delegation tried to give a letter to her and she refused to take it.

Witnesses of the face-off yesterday said she seemed to want to make sure her officials captured the whole episode of the envelope on film. On it in large and easily visible letters were the words, "United Nations" and "Malvinas".

Asked why Mr Cameron refused to tango with the Argentine leader, officials said, "There are diplomatic channels for these things".

The Prime Minister argued Argentina needed to respect the right of the islanders to self-determination.