Britain rejects suggestion of papal mediation on Falklands dispute
June 21, 2013
British government officials have dismissed a suggestion by Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner that Pope Francis could act as mediator in the two countries’ dispute over possession of the Falkland Islands.
Argentina continues to challenge Britain’s claim of sovereignty over the Falklands-- known in Argentina as the Malvinas—despite a decisive British victory in the 1982 war over the remote Atlantic islands. Last year, during a visit to the Vatican, Kirchner asked the Pope to address the dispute.
Officials in London have been markedly cool toward the prospect of papal intervention. “I certainly share the view that religion is unlikely to help solve this,” said Mark Lyall Grant, the British ambassador to the UN.
British officials may have non-religious reasons to reject an appeal for Vatican intervention, since Pope Francis is an Argentine citizen.