Falklands 'will be under our control in 20 years', says Argentine foreign minister

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 06:50 hrs

Argentina will regain control of the Falkland Islands within '20 years', the country's foreign minister Hector Timerman has said.

On a visit to London, he claimed 'not one' other nation supported UK sovereignty of the Falklands.

Timerman, speaking to the Guardian and Independent, said Britain had 'occupied' the islands for 'access to oil and natural resources'.

According to the BBC, a referendum on the Falkland Islands political status will be held in March.

Timerman was meanwhile confronted by elected representatives of the Falkland Islands in the House of Commons Lobby on Tuesday.

The foreign minister refused to accept a letter about the future of the Islands or to talk to the representatives.

Timerman, who spoke to reporters at the Argentine embassy in London, said the UK 'never missed an opportunity to find a solution for the Malvinas', the Argentine name for the islands.

Relations between the British and Argentine Governments have soured in recent months. Last year marked 30 years since the Falklands War, when the islands were occupied by Argentine forces for 74 days.

On the subject of re-gaining sovereignty, Timerman said that he did not think it will take another 20 years.

He added that he thought 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.

Timerman rejected an invitation to discuss the issue with Foreign Secretary William Hague last week, after Hague invited members of the Falkland Islands government to the meeting, the report said.

According to the report, he refused to discuss whether Argentina would be prepared to thrash out a joint-sovereignty agreement or propose such a solution.

He also dismissed the forthcoming referendum, on whether the Islanders want to remain part of the British Overseas Territories, as meaningless, the report added. (ANI)

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