MONTEVIDEO, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The 10th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas Wednesday passed a declaration supporting Argentina's claim to the disputed Malvinas Islands, called the Falklands by the British government.
Held in the tourist resort of Punta del Este, 140 km east of the Uruguayan capital Montevideo, the conference agreed to "continue studying the question of the Malvinas Islands towards a definitive solution."
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela expressed their "concern for the increasing militarization of the South Atlantic and the armed exercises being carried out on the Malvinas Islands."
These countries said they "back Argentina's legitimate claim over the Malvinas, South Georgia and Sandwich islands" and "over their maritime waters."
Chile, Colombia and Mexico reiterated their support for the legitimate sovereign rights of Argentina over the Malvinas Islands under the terms established at the December 2011 Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries.
Canada reserved its vote on the declaration, saying the issue was not relevant to the meeting and only the residents of the islands under British control have the "right to examine their future."
The United States also said the dispute was a "bilateral matter" that did not belong in the multinational forum, according to a statement from Uruguay's Defense Ministry.
The final declaration also recommended analyzing the Inter-American Defense System, a mechanism for cooperation in case of natural disasters, and supporting the work of women in peace missions.
The next conference is due in 2014 in Peru.