Falklands at G20: brief exchange between Cameron and Cristina Fernandez
UK PM David Cameron has refused to accept a letter from Argentina's president about her country's claim to the Falklands Islands. PM Cameron approached President Cristina Fernandez before the first session of the G20 summit in Mexico, No 10 said.
The prime minister told Ms Fernandez she should respect the views of Islanders who are taking part in a referendum on the issue of political status.
The Falklands are marking 30 years since the end of the war with Argentina. Both leaders are at the G20 summit taking place in Los Cabos, Mexico.
PM Cameron had earlier said he would use the opportunity to tell President Cristina Fernandez that she should listen to the people of the Falklands when they say they want to remain British.
Downing Street confirmed the two leaders had met in the margins before the opening session got under way.
Cameron told Cristina Fernandez: I am not proposing a full discussion now on the Falklands but I hope you have noted that they are holding a referendum and you should respect their views.
We should believe in self determination and act as democrats here in the G20.
Aides said PM Cameron gave a clear and calm message which he repeated three times as his words were interpreted into Spanish.
Ms Fernandez then tried to hand him a letter containing the forty UN resolutions on the Falklands/Malvinas, which requests both governments to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Falklands dispute, but Mr Cameron refused to accept it.
Argentine foreign minister Hector Timmerman confirmed it was PM Cameron who approached the Argentine president.
The one that came forward trying to talk about an issue that wasn't on the agenda was Prime Minister David Cameron, he said.
Timerman said “Cameron refused to accept an envelope from Cristina Fernandez with the 40 UN resolutions calling for a resumption of sovereignty discussions on the Malvinas issue”.
However Timerman added that it was not the place or the moment. The moment to talk about Malvinas was last week at the UN, where the president attended but not the Primer Minister”.
Allegedly there were Argentine media ready to record the moment Cristina Fernandez handed the envelope with the resolution to PM Cameron.
Minister Timerman was later photographed with the envelope with the 40 resolutions.
Last week the Falklands marked 30 years since the end of the war with Argentina with a service at Liberation Monument. It followed a service at Port Stanley's cathedral to remember the UK's liberation of the UK territory from Argentine occupation on 14 June 1982.
On the same day at the UN Decolonization session which was attended by President Cristina Fernandez, the Falklands delegation tried to deliver a letter to the president, but was unable to reach her. The closest was Minister Timerman who simply said “send it to the embassy”.
Buenos Aires has sought to use the 30th anniversary of the war to revive its claim on the Falklands and other South Atlantic Islands.
Ahead of Tuesday's session, Mr Cameron said in a pre-recorded TV interview: The Falkland Islanders have decided to have a referendum. They are going to ask a very simple question of whether they want to continue with the status quo or whether they want to change.
The message to Argentina is very clear - listen to what the people of the Falkland Islands want. We should all believe in this day and age in self-determination, not colonialism.