Dated the 4th February, the letter states: “Dear Secretary, I am writing to you to inform you that the Minister of Relaciones Héctor Timerman is already in London starting today and until February 6. According to the notes addressed to you on 29 and 31 January, the Minister reiterates his request to hold a bilateral meeting alone in order to address the numerous issues of the bilateral and multilateral agenda between both States. I take this opportunity to reiterate the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.”
Foreign Minister Hector Timerman is meeting with the cross-party UK/Argentina Group of MP’s while he is in London, and also with a group of European parliamentarians in a closed session hosted at Alicia Castro’s residence.
Robin Walker MP is chairing the MP’s meeting; “I do appreciate that Falkland islanders feel very strongly on this issue and will be expressing their views in the upcoming referendum. I shall certainly be standing up for their right to self-determination but I do think it is important that a discussion between Parliaments of two sovereign and democratic countries should be conducted in a polite and reasonable way. There are a range of issues to talk about including bilateral trade, human rights and the G20 but I have no doubt that the concerns of islanders will be well represented by Parliamentarians at the meeting. For my part I shall be chairing the meeting and seeking to enable a frank exchange of views. I hope that we are able to talk about other issues as well as the islands, but please rest assured that I have neither the authority nor the inclination to hold talks on any issue which should clearly be for the people of the Falkands to decide on.”
Argentina has sporadically maintained that it has a claim to the Islands since 1833; with greater emphasis following the Peronist movement of the 1950’s. Britain first claimed the South Atlantic Archipelago in 1765. The two countries went to war in 1982, following an invasion by Argentina although its first attempt to seize the Falklands was in 1832.
Robin Walker can be contacted via – http://www.walker4worcester.com/