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Argentine's Fernandez asks Pope to intervene over Falklands

MYT 12:30:02 AM

ROME (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has asked Pope Francis to intervene in support of Buenos Aires in a dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, she said on Monday.

Fernandez had lunch with the former Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio in the Vatican shortly after arriving in Rome to attend his inaugural papal mass on Tuesday.

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, meets Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner at the Vatican City March 18, 2013 in this photo provided by Argentine Presidency. REUTERS/Argentine Presidency/Handout
Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, meets Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner at the Vatican City March 18, 2013 in this photo provided by Argentine Presidency. REUTERS/Argentine Presidency/Handout

She told reporters afterwards: "I asked for his intervention to avoid problems that could emerge from the militarization of Great Britain in the south Atlantic. We want a dialogue and that's why we asked the pope to intervene so that the dialogue is successful."

British Prime Minister David Cameron said last week that Pope Francis, the first Latin American pontiff, had been wrong to say in 2012 that Britain had "usurped" the disputed islands from Argentina.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones; writing by Barry Moody)

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