British Methodists echo Argentine counterparts’ hopes for peace
As the dispute between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands continues to simmer, British Methodist leaders have joined their Argentine counterparts in praying for peace between their two nations.
In a response to the Argentine Methodist Church, the Rev. Leo Osborn and Ruth Pickles, president and vice president of the British Methodist Conference, wrote, “We pray that the rhetoric of confrontation be replaced with a language of peace and reconciliation.”
Earlier this month, Argentine Bishop Frank de Nully Brown wrote to the British Methodist Church, expressing his desire for their governments to resolve their issues peacefully, according to the Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency.
The islands, sitting 250 nautical miles (460 kilometres) off the Argentine coast, are under British rule but have been claimed by both nations. On April 2, 1982, Argentinean forces invaded the islands. Britain responded in kind, taking back the territory in two months. More than 1,000 troops and civilians lost their lives in the conflict.
As the 30th anniversary of the war approaches, the two nations have once again begun lobbing heated rhetoric at each other over the ownership of the islands, which have rich fishing grounds and are thought to posses significant offshore oil reserves. Britain also recently sent warships to the area for what it describes as training exercises.
In their letter, Osborn and Pickles expressed their opposition to conflict. “No matter how complex and frustrating the concerns or the differences may be, we affirm peace and we abhor war.”
They wrote that they affirmed the right of all people to claim an identity and the right to self-determination, and “want the role of the UN to be affirmed in the resolution of disputes among member states.”