Menem upsets his hosts

 

London - Argentine President Carlos Menem's visit to Britain last night ended as it began, in a row over the Falkland Islands. Mr Menem told a Buenos Aires newspaper negotiations over the sovereignty of the disputed islands could begin in three years. The Argentine president told Clarin that the Labour Government had a "predisposition to open talks on the subject in the near future". His remarks, at the end of a six-day visit, contradicted Downing Street's line that no substantive talks on the sovereignty of the islands could take place.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary, Mr Michael Howard, said: "The Prime Minister should give a full explanation as to how President Menem could have obtained the impression that Britain is prepared to negotiate on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands."