The Falkland Islands peace talks continued here for the fourth day as Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar met with Argentine Deputy Foreign Minister Enrique Ros and British Ambassador Anthony Parsons. Both said they would return for more talks Tuesday.
While there has been neither a breakthrough nor a breakdown, U.N. officials say Perez de Cuellar may not have much time beyond Tuesday or Wednesday to work.
The talks are now focused on three specific issues: the stages of the mutual withdrawal, the composition and mandate of the temporary Falklands administration and the ground rules for the negotiations that would follow under a special U.N. representation on the future of the islands.
Although Argentina has agreed to omit from U.N. talks the key issue of eventual sovereignty, a British source warned, "We cannot have negotiations where the result is already implicit even if it is not explicit."
Britain has retreated from the demand that the islanders must agree to any settlement but maintains that implicit in any talks is the need to consider their wishes.
Both sides have agreed in principle to the U.N. proposal for a cease-fire linked to mutual, staged withdrawals and the temporary administration and talks to follow.
The U.N. suggestion for U.S. satellite surveillance of the pullbacks, plus a small group of U.N. military observers, appear to be acceptable as well, U.N. sources said.
But these sources say Argentina wants the United Nations exclusively to provide the monitors for the withdrawal and the temporary administration, while Britain is insisting that some of its allies participate.
Argentina is asking a time limit of one year or less on the interim administration and on the talks that will coincide with it. They reportedly fear that without the deadline Britain will drag out the negotiations.
Britain reportedly fears that with a deadline Argentina would be adamant on sovereignty, let the time expire and the United Nations pull out, and then reoccupy the islands.