By J. Brock (FINN)
Argentine Foreign Minister, Mr Hector Timerman will visit London next week and has requested a meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. In turn, Mr Hague has told the Government of Argentina he would be happy to meet Mr Timerman but at that meeting he would raise the UK Governments serious concerns about Argentine policy towards the Falkland Islands.
Mr Hague has also made it clear that, for any conversation on Falkland Islands issues, the Falkland Islands Government must be represented.
He has also reiterated to Argentina that there can never be any negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until the Falkland Islanders so wish. The Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly believes that the result of the forthcoming referendum will demonstrate definitively that Falkland Islanders do not so wish. Should the issue of sovereignty be raised at the meeting, it will not be discussed.
Members of the Legislative Assembly made it clear in their letter of 2012 to President Fernandez de Kirchner (details of which were made public on June 15, 2012), that the Falkland Islands Government is willing to meet with the Government of Argentina in order to make our views clear, and to discuss matters of mutual interest including fisheries and communication. Therefore, MLA Dick Sawle and MLA Jan Cheek will travel to London this weekend to be available to take part in this discussion.
The Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly want to reassure anyone concerned by this that we are not going to be negotiating any deal with Argentina. Rather they are anticipating a full and frank exchange of views. Indeed The Falkland Islands Government looks forward to giving Mr Timerman some very direct messages on the unacceptability of Argentine actions against the Falkland Islands in recent years.
Islanders demand that their rights be respected, and that they be left in peace to choose their own future and to develop the country for their children and generations to come. It is only right that Mr Timerman should hear this directly from the people of the Falkland Islands, as well as from Mr Hague.