Argentina needs to sit and listen

9 Jun

In a letter to the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, Argentina’s Hector Timerman suggested that the Foreign Office’s Jeremy Browne should add to his visit to the Falkland Islands next week, by flying to Buenos Aires for talks.

Referring to the 1825 Treaty signed between Britain and the United Provinces, and quoting Winston Churchill, Timerman said; “it requires courage to stand up and speak, it also requires courage to sit and listen.”

The British Foreign Office however, gave the invitation short shrift responding; “We have today received an invitation from Argentina’s foreign minister, Hector Timmerman, for Mr Browne to visit Buenos Aires next week. However he has a full schedule of events in the Falkland Islands to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the conflict there. This has been arranged for some time. Mr Browne is grateful for the invitation. The UK has a long-standing interest in building a stronger partnership with Argentina on a broad range of issues of mutual interest. The only issue that we will not discuss is the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, unless and until the islanders wish us to do so.”

Minister Browne is visiting the Falkland Islands as part of the celebrations there in remembrance of the 1982 Falklands War when British forces ousted an invading Argentine army. Nearly 1000 young men lost their lives as a result of Argentina’s act of war.

The Falkland Islands have been British sovereign territory since 1765, and have been peacefully occupied by settlers since 1833. Argentina first attempted to take the archipelago by force in 1832, but that also resulted in the armed garrison being ejected by the British Navy. At that time 26 settlers were on the Islands, some of who were from what is now Argentina. Other nationalities were represented too. As a result of these early settlers, who had received British authorisation in 1825, some Falkland families can trace their ancestors on the Islands back 9 generations.

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One Response to “Argentina needs to sit and listen”

  1. CLopez June 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    The Falkland Islands have been subject to British sovereignty since 1765 with the exception of 60 years of silence after the abandonment of Port Egmont in favor of the Spanish crown. Argentina formally took possession of them in 1820 and nine years later the British diplomats remembered they once had a claim over the islands.

    Argentina couldn’t take the islands by force in 1832 because there was no one there to take them from. On the other hand, the British lowered Argentine flag in 1833 backed up by cannons…

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