Argentinian minister pulls out of Falklands talks
The Argentinian Foreign Minister, Hector Timerman, has pulled out of talks with William Hague that were scheduled to take place during the Argentinian’s coming visit to London.
Citing the inclusion of representatives of the Falkland Islands’ government in the scheduled talks as the reason for his withdrawal, Mr Timerman told members of the press that he was sorry that Britain’s Foreign Minister, William Hague, “can’t meet without the supervision of the colonialists from the Malvinas”.
While Argentina does not recognise the legitimacy of the Falkland Islands’ government and maintains that the Falklands belong to Argentina, the British Foreign Office re-asserted their position on the issue in the following press release: “We remain concerned about the Argentine government’s behaviour towards the Falkland Islanders, so it is right and proper that they are involved in the part of the meeting that concerns the Islands.”
Relations between Argentina and Britain regarding the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands have become increasingly strained in recent months.
Back in December 2012, the British Foreign Office announced a policy that supported the Falkland Islanders’ right to self-determination. A statement released by the Foreign Office asserted: “The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. They have the right to self-determination as set out in the UN Charter,” and criticised the Argentinian government for “trying to coerce the Falkland Islanders into becoming part of Argentina”.
In response, Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner last month published an open letter in British newspapers deriding the decision to support the Falkland Islands and calling the move “a blatant exercise of 19th century colonialism”.
With a referendum due to take place within the Falklands next month, the sovereignty of the islands remains a contentious issue in Britain’s relationship with Argentina. However, it is more than likely that Argentina will suffer embarrassment when the results of the referendum come through.
In a statement released by the Falkland Islands’ government, representatives suggested that the outcome of the referendum would most likely be to remain aligned to Britain. For the time being, the Falklands have left Argentina with a clear message, saying: “We demand that our rights be respected, and that we be left in peace to choose our own future and to develop our country for our children and generations to come.”