Argentine FM says Falklands no obstacle to becoming UN chief

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's foreign minister said Friday she believes there's no conflict of interest between her bid to be the next U.N. secretary-general and her work pressing her country's sovereignty claim over the disputed Falkland Islands.

Buenos Aires has long claimed as its own the Atlantic archipelago, a British overseas territory it calls the Malvinas. Argentina staged an ill-fated invasion of the islands in 1982 that was repelled by Britain.

As foreign minister Susana Malcorra has lobbied for Argentina's claim and recently brought it up when President Mauricio Macri met with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The South American country regularly raises the issue at the U.N.

FILE - In this May 16, 2016 file photo, Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra takes part in a joint press conference, at the Lebanese foreign ministry...

FILE - In this May 16, 2016 file photo, Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra takes part in a joint press conference, at the Lebanese foreign ministry in Beirut, Lebanon. Malcorra is arguing that there¿s no conflict of interest between her bid to be the next U.N. secretary-general and her work pressing her country¿s sovereignty claim over the disputed Falkland Islands. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

"What we have been saying regarding the Malvinas is what we have said since the day we took office ... and I see no incompatibility" between that and becoming secretary-general, Malcorra said at a news conference, without explaining further.

The secretary-general is chosen by the 193-member General Assembly on the recommendation of the 15-member Security Council, of which the United Kingdom is a permanent member.

Traditionally the secretary-general job has rotated among regions, and people from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe have all held the post. Some in eastern Europe, including Russia, argue that their region has never had one of their own as secretary-general and it is their turn.

A group of 56 nations has also been lobbying for the United Nations to get its first female chief. Malcorra is a former U.N. undersecretary-general and chief of staff to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose term ends Dec. 31.

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