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Members of the Legislative Assembly to meet with the Argentine Foreign Minister

The Falkland Islands Government has been advised that the Argentine Foreign Minister will visit London next week, and has requested a meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Mr Hague has told the Government of Argentina he would be happy to meet Mr Timerman.  At that meeting he would want to raise the UK Government’s serious concerns about Argentina’s policy towards the Falkland Islands.

He has also made it clear that, for any conversation on Falkland Islands issues, the Falkland Islands Government must be represented.

Mr Hague 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 we do not.  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.

We want to reassure anyone concerned by this that we are not going to be negotiating any deal with Argentina.  Rather we are anticipating a full and frank exchange of views.  Indeed we look forward to giving Mr Timerman some very direct messages on the unacceptability of Argentina’s actions against the Falkland Islands in recent years.  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.  It is only right that he should hear this directly from us, as well as from Mr Hague.

The Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands.