New Delhi: Argentina values India's 'consistent' position when it comes to the Malvinas or Falkland Islands, the Ambassador of Argentina to India, Hugo Javier Gobbi, has said, adding that Buenos Aires is grateful for New Delhi's stand of always defending the rule of law and the necessity of having a diplomatically negotiated solution.

While speaking to ANI on Thursday, the envoy hailed New Delhi's stance and said that he was 'grateful' to India for 'always defending the rule of law'.

"We very much value India's position which has been consistent throughout its history and of favouring decolonization and we are very grateful for India's stand always defending the rule of law and the necessity of having a diplomatic negotiated solution. This commission has two purposes, one is to keep the visibility of the Malvinas issue in Indian society and also to express our gratitude to Indian society for backing always, Argentina on this issue.", said the Argentine envoy.

Argentina and the United Kingdom are engaged in a territorial dispute over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, a disputed archipelago in the South Atlantic.

Last year, in Delhi, the foreign minister of Argentina Santiago Cafiero held the first meeting of a commission formed by his government. When asked if we can expect such dialogues to continue and any high-level visit expected next year, the envoy said that his country is planning an authority to come.

"Yes, We are planning/ trying to have an authority come after India's election and because it will give more visibility of course, Indian society will be very much concentrated in the electoral process. And after that we would like to have one authority to come here and to have an event to give visibility to the issue of the Malvinas and what is actually an issue that puts together the whole Global South and we have the backing of the whole Global South on it", said the Argentine envoy.

The envoy however said that the authority could be the foreign minister as he would be the right person to come in, in that situation.

"Well, we would see what their authority would be but the foreign minister would I think would be the right person to come in that situation, but we will propose it and see and see how it works", added the envoy.

The "Question of the Malvinas Islands" is one of the 17 decolonisation cases subject to be treated by the Special Committee on Decolonization and has been characterized as a "special and particular" colonial situation. That is because, unlike other decolonization cases, it involves a sovereignty dispute between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas- as was acknowledged in 1965 by the United Nations General Assembly, through resolution 2065 (XX) and subsequent resolutions", said a release issued by the embassy in New Delhi.

"By the cited resolutions, the United Nations establish that the dispute must be settled by bilateral negotiations, taking into account the interests of the inhabitants of the islands", it added.

Speaking on the meeting held on Thursday, members of the commission Shashi Tharoor and Shazia Ilmi said that they believe in decolonization and that the issue should be resumed through negotiations.

"India's had a consistent policy on the Malvinas question of the Falklands as the British preferred to call it for some time. We believe in decolonization. We believe that Malvinas should return to Argentina, as a potential opposition or at least that there should be constructive discussions in getting to that ultimate conclusion. As of now, those have not happened and Argentina has set up a committee of concerned Indians to discuss the issue", said MP Shashi Tharoor.

"As far as India is concerned, there's no real domestic controversy on the issue in that we all agree broadly speaking with the stand of all the governments that India has had, whether it's the UPA government or the NDA government, the position has been largely the same", he added.

Noting the deep ties that New Delhi and Buenos Aires share, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shazia Ilmi stated that 'the issue should be resolved in accordance with the UNGA resolution.

"Not just as a member of the commission, but also as a friend and someone who has been to Argentina many times, I would like to tell you that India and Argentina have a deep friendship. The love people in Argentina have for India, Indian culture, Indian spirituality, Indian books and literature is huge. We all know Rabindranath Tagore has visited Argentina", said Ilmi.

"I would also like to remind you that colonisation is a thing of past and India was the country that first chaired the committee. This was the chair of the special committee on decolonization. Our External Affairs Ministers have reiterated that India that there should be resumption of negotiations to find a solution to the sovereignty issue on the Malvinas or Falkland Islands issue, which is a very serious issue. And it has to be done in accordance with the resolution of UNGA and special committee of decolonization of which India is a part of", she added.

"Argentina has absolute certainty with regard to its sovereignty rights over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas. It states its firm willingness to resume negotiations in order to find a solution to the dispute in accordance with the United Nations mandate, and has reiterated this firm willingness on every possible occasion, urging the United Kingdom to that end. The Argentine position is shared by the international community in several multilateral and regional forums", added the press release.

Further speaking on the New Delhi and Buenos-Aires ties, the envoy said that the relationship has expanded greatly in several areas, including science, technology, space and defence.

"Our relations have expanded greatly in the last three years and our trade, our people-to-people links, our cooperation in science and technology, our cooperation, the space or cooperation defence striving forwarding in the last few years, and I think there's a great opportunity to move forward and continue moving forward in everybody bilateral relation", said the envoy.