By politics.co.uk staff
Hillary Clinton has called for talks between Britain and Argentina over the disputed Falkand Islands, as she heads for discussions in South America.
The US secretary of state refused to offer American assistance in acting as a mediator for negotiations, however, after a Desire Petroleum rig began drilling for oil in the waters off the Falklands last month.
In 1982 her precursor Alexander Haig, who died earlier this year, failed to broker a deal between the two sides before fighting broke out.
While urging the importance of negotiations, however, Ms Clinton made clear she would not be offering her services for now.
"We're not interested in and have no real role in determining what they decide between the two of them. But we want them talking and we want them trying to resolve the outstanding issues between them," Ms Clinton said.
"We recognise that there are contentious matters that have to be resolved and we hope that they will do so."
Argentina, which like every other Latin American state, calls the islands Las Malvinas, and retains its historical hold over the island. It even invaded the islands by force in 1982 but a British task force retook them, leaving 255 British and over 600 Argentinean soldiers dead.
The US has struggled to exert much diplomatic pressure over Britain when it comes to its territorial claims over the Falklands.