UK READIES REPLY TO ARGENTINA OVER OIL PROPOSAL FOR FALKLANDS

UK READIES REPLY TO ARGENTINA OVER OIL PROPOSAL FOR FALKLANDS

Britain will probably reply in the next few days to the latest Argentine proposal in troubled talks over oil exploration around the disputed Falkland Islands, a Foreign Ministry source said.

''It is very likely there will be a British reply in the next few days. But although negotiations continue and both parties say they are trying as hard as possible, we are still seeing the future with skepticism," the source said, quoted by the state-controlled Telam news agency.The source did not reveal the details of the Argentine proposal.

Talks to agree on a framework for oil exploration that does not infringe on either side's claim to sovereignty are stuck on the issue of whether Argentina can have any share of activities deep within Falklands waters, Telam said.

The Falkland Islands government says it will call an international exploration tender in October if no deal is reached between the two countries.

Argentina warns it will take legal action against any company that

explores for oil in the Falklands, and a leading senator recently proposed a law to ban such companies from doing business in Argentina.