We won't talk to colonists: Diplomatic row erupts after Argentina pulls out of talks with Britain over future of Falkland Islands

Argentine foreign minister described the Falkland Islanders as the 'colonists from the Malvinas'

Argentina's foreign minister has pulled out of talks with William Hague over the future of the Falkland Islands after learning that islanders would also be attending.

Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman pulled out of the meeting, due to be held in London, after representatives of the Falkland Islands government were slated to attend.

Argentina does not recognise the government as legitimate.

In a statement Mr Timerman described the islanders as the 'colonists from the Malvinas.'

Residents were widely expected to have told Argentina they should respect islanders' rights and leave them in peace.

It is believed that the majority of the 3,000 islanders want to remain under British rule.

This latest diplomatic spat is likely to further raise the tensions between the UK and Argentina over the future of the islands.

In a strong statement Mr Timerman said he was sorry that Mr Hague "can't meet without the supervision of the colonists from the Malvinas".

The curt letter added: 'It's a shame that you reject a bilateral meeting. You need not keep trying to put together meetings during my visit to London. Leave that job to our own efficient embassy.'

Mr Timerman invited Mr Hague to meet with him in Buenos Aires, where he said "my fellow foreign ministers can freely meet with whomever they wish without being pressured or having their presence conditioned on meetings that they haven't asked for and don't interest them".

Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has in recent years strongly asserted her country's demands for the Falklands to come under its sovereignty despite the opposition of the islanders.

Earlier this month, she had an advert published in British newspapers claiming that Argentina had been stripped of the islands in "a blatant exercise of 19th century colonialism".

Prime Minister David Cameron has repeatedly insisted the residents of the Falklands must decide their own future and a referendum on the islands' political status is to be held in March.

In a statement released before Mr Timerman turned down the meeting, the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands stressed that their representatives, Dick Sawle and Jan Cheek, would not be "negotiating any deal".

"Rather we are anticipating a full and frank exchange of views," the assembly said.

"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."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware that Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman is due in the UK next week, and have invited him to come to the Foreign Office to meet the Foreign Secretary and representatives of the UK Government and the Falkland Islands Government."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory