UK & World News
Argentina: Falklands 'Ours In 20 Years'
Argentina will control the Falkland Islands within 20 years, the country's foreign minister has declared as he visits Britain.
Hector Timerman, in London for the first time, called the British "fanatics" as he claimed the UK was only interested in the islands because of their oil reserves.
He ruled out launching military action to end the long-standing dispute over their sovereignty but claimed Britain was internationally isolated in its claim.
His comments are the latest salvo in a 130-year-old dispute over the islands, which Argentina insists on calling the Malvinas.
"The United Kingdom has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity to find a solution for the Malvinas," Mr Timerman said in a joint interview with The Guardian and The Independent.
"I don't think it will take another 20 years. I think that the world is going through a process of understanding more and more that this is a colonial issue, an issue of colonialism, and that the people living there were transferred to the islands.
"We have been trying to find a peaceful solution for 180 years. I think the fanatics are not in Buenos Aires (but) maybe in the United Kingdom because they are 14,000km (8,700 miles) away from the islands.
"And I think they are using the people living in the islands for political (reasons) and to have access to oil and natural resources which belong to the Argentine people. I think we are not fanatical at all."
Mr Timerman had been due to meet Foreign Secretary William Hague during his visit but he pulled out when the Foreign Office said Falklanders would also be present.
"There is not one single country in the world which supports the right of the United Kingdom to govern over the Malvinas. Not one," he said on Thursday.
"According to the United Nations, there are only two parties to the conflict - the United Kingdom and the Republic of Argentina. It is an issue that has to be resolved by Argentina and the United Kingdom.
"By introducing a third party, the United Kingdom is changing more than 40 resolutions by the United Nations, which call the two countries to negotiate."
Mr Timerman also dismissed next month's planned referendum of the islanders on whether they want to remain part of the British Overseas Territories as meaningless.
"If you ask the colonial people who came with a colonial power and replaced the people who were living in the islands, it is like asking the British citizens of the Malvinas Islands if they want to remain British," he said.
And he hit back at suggestions that the government in Buenos Aires had been agitating over the issue of the islands in an attempt to distract from economic problems at home.
"I think it is the United Kingdom that is going through an economic crisis and is becoming isolationist more than Argentina," he said.
"They want to get out of the European Union, there is a sense here (in Britain) that we want to stop the world and get out."
Mr Timerman later clashed with MPs when he appeared before the all-party group on Argentina, insisting again that Buenos Aires would not recognise the referendum.
"The self-determination referendum doesn't apply to the Malvinas. It is not a colonised people, it is a colonised territory," he said.
"It is not a matter for negotiation. Not one single country in the world recognises the sovereignty of the United Kingdom in the Malvinas.
"We have to respect the interests of the people living in the area, but not the wishes."
what do you think?
The Falklans Islands have never been Argentinian and never will be,no matter how much posturing.chest puffing and pontificating comes from Argentina. They are just getting boring now to be honest.
Agreed. Mere posturing ahead of their elections. Unfortunately many voters are gullible- in all countries.
Wind bag, get a grip on reality, its like saying the u.s should not have had a right to decide their own future when they wanted independence. The Falkland people have a right to decide since they live there!
Why not we've given this country away
Exactly Adam. This is just sabre rattling. Ignore the rhetoric of Argentina, it is designed to distract the Argentinian people from Kirchner's failed economic policies.
Even our shabby political system wouldnt allow a handover of Falklands to this dysfunctional country. Add a couple of zeros to the figure of 20 years Timeran and you might be close
The argument that the Argentinians use, also applies to them. They pushed out the South American tribes and pinched their gold. I think we should start a petition to get everyone with Spanish and Portuguese blood, kicked out of Argentina.
Bradford mine in 4 years But what I really want is Cornwall.
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Kernow bys vyken!
They're at it again... interesting to note they rule out another invasion. Even with our Forces being stripped to the bone they still know they would get a whuppin.
interesting to note they rule out another invasion. Maybe just said to get our guard down. He's a politician, don't believe him.
Just because the army has been cut there is still reservists like me who are ex regular Solider's ready to go !!!
They rule out another invasion Lorgan because their armed forces are in a worse state than ours...........
I reckon that the Falkland Islands Defence Force could knock em back alone. Not many more effective troops than militia fighting for their homes. Ask the Russians and the Germans.
Don't really think anyone cares about those islands. Let's be honest its the oil around it that really matters. Historically the Persians own that land X
The islanders do, and so do the people who fought for them
You really do get sillier and sillier don't you? We can always rely on you for a good laugh..............
Ali, oil hadn't been found when we first defended the Falklands. We want them oil or not because the native people wish to remain British.
There must be someting in the Argentine water or maybe they're all mad as a box of frogs
Their water is just fine....
Hands off! !!!
Come and get it off us then if you think your hard enough.!!
i wish we would go to war with these big mouth agitaters. we go to war with everyone else over matters that don't concern us, so these dirtbags keep badmouthing us around the world and threatening the islands inhabitants is certainly enough to merit sending the troops in.
Good point. Mali, Afghan, Iraq... this directly concerns us so leave the Mid East and Africa to implode on their own.
I think we should just attack Argentina.
the indiginous population before we settled there where penguins the argies didn want to know. rule brittania
The Welsh and the Scottish should start a campaign to get the English out of Britain and say it belongs to the Celtic people lol
They dont have the resources to invade now.I dont think their millitary has aquired any modern equipment in the last 30years. Most of their aircraft look like something the wright brothers built. So when he says in twenty years he means that they might have saved up enough to buy one used A10 warthog off the americans
Easy to see the tactics here, a war of attrition. A tiny population living under the constant threat of war or hostility of some sort. All that is there are seabirds and sheep farming, even the weather is lousy. The youth will get fed up of it and the islands will gradually depopulate. The UK will be happy to see the Argies take over. Forget about the oil.
Can we sell this costly island in the middle of the Atlantic with a few sheep and a population of "bennies" .We have sold all our wealth making assets and silver to overseas companies how about selling the loss making Falklands to Argentina.
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