Falklands: Pope to take neutral stance

POPE Francis will take a neutral stance over the ongoing diplomatic row over the Falklands, according to a UK cabinet minister.

Baroness Warsi, who attended the Argentinian Pope’s inaugural Mass in St Peter’s Square yesterday, stressed the Vatican has always regarded the standoff between Britain and Argentina as an issue between the two countries.

The faith and communities minister, in the Vatican alongside minister without portfolio Kenneth Clarke, to represent the UK Government, sought to diffuse escalating tensions over the islands after Cristina Kirchner, Argentina’s president, asked the Pope to intervene on the sovereignty row over the British territory.

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On Monday, Ms Kirchner condemned the “British militarisation of the South Atlantic” and said the Pope could help promote “dialogue” between London and Buenos Aires.

However, Baroness Warsi said: “The Holy See have always taken the view that this is a bilateral matter.

“I don’t anticipate that that will change. The recent referendum in the Falkland Islands sent out a very clear signal of how they see their future.”