Fri Feb 1, 2013 6:43AM
Argentina has snubbed a British invitation for a meeting on the South Atlantic Malvinas Islands (Falklands) with the representatives of the Falklands government present. Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said in a letter to his British counterpart William Hague that Buenos Aires will only sit down for talks on the matter with representatives of the British government. In the letter, Timerman, who is visiting London this week, blasted Hague for pushing on his agenda meetings that “do not interest” him. "I lament your letter of yesterday stating you cannot meet without the supervision of the Malvinas settlers ... It's a shame that you reject a bilateral meeting,” Timmerman said. “You need not keep trying to put together meetings during my visit to London … I invite you to visit Argentina … where my fellow foreign ministers can meet freely with whom they want, without me pushing them into meetings that do not interest them," he added. The exchange follows months of dispute over the sovereignty of the islands. While Argentina wants the issue to be resolved through direct talks, Britain rejects such prospects saying negotiations on the sovereignty of the territory will only take place if residents of the South Atlantic archipelago express their disapproval of remaining part of Britain. However, Argentina says islanders’ vote does not count as the Royal Navy has expelled the Argentineans who originally lived on the territory and has replaced them with British settlers. AMR/HE