Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman turned down an invitation by his British counterpart William Hague to take part in a meeting in London with representatives of the Falklands/Malvinas Islands government, assuring that “the international community does not accept the involvement of a third party” in the sovereignty issue.
In a letter directly addressed to the Foreign Secretary, Timerman acknowledged that he had been interested in holding a bilateral meeting with Hague during his next visit to London since “he is responsible for the United Kingdom’s foreign policy,” and regretted that he wouldn’t’ meet “without the supervision of the Malvinas Islands settlers.”
Earlier on Thursday the Falklands’ elected government in an official release said that two Members of the Legislative Assembly would be flying to London “to meet with Minister Timerman” who next week is scheduled to hold a Malvinas related event and had requested an interview with Hague.
According to the release Foreign Secretary Hague said he was delighted to receive Timerman but also pointed out that in any conversations on Falklands’ issues, representatives from the Falklands’ government must be represented.
“It is unfortunate that you reject a bilateral meeting. Your decision will surely affect Argentina’s interest in working with the United Kingdom in the G20, the UN Security Council, matters of nuclear proliferation, human trafficking, money laundering, drugs, investment, trade, human rights and many others in which both countries are active members of the international community,” he stated.
Timerman in his letter invites Foreign Secretary Hague to “visit Argentina and hold a bilateral meeting, so you can appreciate that our country is a true democracy where my foreign counterparts can meet freely with whomever they want without me pressuring them”.
“Finally, it is not necessary for you to keep attempting to make appointments during my coming visit to London, leave that for our very efficient embassy”.
Timerman is scheduled to visit London next week to meet with ‘figures’ from 18 European countries that support the resumption of the Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty talks.
On March 10/11 the Falklands are holding a referendum on the political status and future of the Islands which has stirred strong reaction from the government of President Cristina Fernandez. Timerman presentation at the Argentine embassy in London of February 6 and 7 is seen as part of the international campaign launched to try and discredit the referendum, with international observers based on the Islanders right to self-determination.