Browne turns down Timerman invitation to discuss Falklands next week in Buenos Aires
UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne turned down on Friday an invitation sent by Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman to visit Argentina. Timerman had hoped to meet with the UK government official in Buenos Aires when Browne makes his trip to the Falkland Islands next week.
A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said that “Mr Browne was grateful for the invitation”, however “he has a full schedule of events in the Falkland Islands to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the conflict there.”
Furthermore, the FCO underlined that “The UK has a longstanding interest in building a stronger partnership with Argentina on a broad range of issues of mutual interest.”
However, with regard to the sovereignty of the Falklands Islands the UK government remained firm in their stance, making it clear that “the only issue that we will not discuss is the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, until and unless the Islanders wish us to do so.”
The Argentine Foreign Ministry earlier in the day announced it had invited Foreign Office Minister Browne, to Argentina, in order to meet with him in Buenos Aires when he makes his trip to the Falklands.
Minister Timerman sent the invitation by way of a letter to his UK counterpart, William Hague.
Browne is leaving on Sunday for the Falklands to attend the 30th anniversary of Liberation Day and will remain until next Friday.
Earlier this week Browne accused Argentina of trying to impose an “economic blockade” on the Islands, implementing measures to curtail the Falklands economy by threatening fishing and oil companies, and impeding the development of tourism and communications in the British Overseas Territory.
“It is pretty clear that Argentina is behaving in a domineering way by seeking to put an economic blockade in place... to impoverish an isolated community with about 3.000 people“, said Browne.