Papal envoy, Cardinal Antonio Samore who is trying to prevent war between Argentina and Chile over disputed territory has held preliminary talks with Argentine leaders and has flown on to Santiago to hear Chile's side of the dispute.
GV EXTERIOR Cardinal Samore's motorcade arrives at Foreign Ministry
Cardinal leaves car and enters building
SV INTERIOR Cardinal Samore PAN TO Foreign Minister Carlos Pastor (TWO SHOTS)
GV government house
SV INTERIOR Cardinal Samore PAN TO President Videla and other government officials
GV Exterior Vatican embassy and plaque on wall (TWO SHOTS)
GV EXTERIOR arrival of Cardinal Samore to onlookers applause
GV Cardinal Samore on balcony as people in street chant calls for peace (FOUR SHOTS)
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Background: Papal envoy, Cardinal Antonio Samore who is trying to prevent war between Argentina and Chile over disputed territory has held preliminary talks with Argentine leaders and has flown on to Santiago to hear Chile's side of the dispute.
SYNOPSIS: Cardinal Samore told reporters when he arrived in Buenos Aires that he was neither an arbiter nor a mediator but someone who had come to offer his good services in the search for a solution. The two countries had agreed to accept the Vatican as mediator in their centuries is old dispute but could not agree on what scope the mediator should have.
Cardinal Samore had his first meeting with Foreign Minister, Carlos Pastor on Wednesday (27 December). Earlier the Cardinal had told reporters that he did not know how long his peace mission would last. He said he would listen, hear and understand. And he believed there could be a dialogue on the dispute. At Government House, Cardinal Samore had talks with President, Jorge Videla. Details of the Cardinal's discussions with the Foreign Minister and President Videla were not released. The crisis concerns the three Islands in the Beagle Channel at the tip of South America.
The animosity between the two countries increased last month with the failure of six months of bilateral talks to reach an agreement concerning the territorial waters surrounding the islands. Cardinal Samore also took time to visit the Vatican Embassy for consultations. He said that after his visit to Argentina and Chile he would report to Pope John Paul the Second who had taken the initiative of sending him on the peace trip to South America. At the Embassy, more than two thousand Argentine Catholics demonstrated against the threat of war. An international tribunal awarded control of the disputed islands to Chile, but Argentina has rejected the finding saying it was based on geographical and historical errors.
During his Embassy visit, the Cardinal twice blessed the crowd who had come at the behest of local priests, to pray for peace. The crisis is based on Argentina's fears that Chile will use the Tribunal decision to extend its territorial waters 200 miles into the Atlantic. Units of the Argentine forces spent Christmas in disputed zones. Leave was cancelled and reservists banned from leaving the country. In recent weeks shops of the Chilean Navy have steamed to the area.
In the meantime, it's hoped the attempt by the vatican to calm Argentina and Chile will head off war between the two countries.