Argentine Foreign Minister Hectór Timerman once again asked the British government to sit down and negotiate "right now" and "without demands" to find a peaceful solution to the longstanding bilateral conflict over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

"My country is seated at the dialogue table, but regrettably the end of the controversy is still kidnapped in London," Timerman told the U.N. Decolonization Committee.

Timerman also said that Argentina rejects the exploration for hydrocarbons in South Atlantic waters off the Falklands, known in Argentina as the Malvinas.

"This is not a small territory. (London) occupies the Malvinas for their strategic value and for the illegitimate expropriation of natural resources," the foreign minister said.

Argentine veterans of the war with the United Kingdom for the islands, meanwhile, held a parade Thursday in Buenos Aires to commemorate the 31 years since they returned home after the end of the brief war over the archipelago's sovereignty.

The parade made its way through the capital's downtown streets without any political or military leaders present.

"We've been waiting 31 years for the state to pay some tribute to the fallen and provide recognition to those of us who fought to be able to receive the embrace of the people. Since nothing has ever happened, now we're doing it ourselves," veteran Esteban Tries told the daily La Nación.

Argentina and the United Kingdom have been at odds since 1833 over the Falklands and the festering dispute erupted into short but very violent war in 1982, a conflict that ended with Argentina's surrender and almost 1,000 dead. 

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