Falkland Islanders 'do not exist', says Argentina's Foreign Minister
London, Feb. 7 : Argentina has stirred up the row over the Falklands after claiming that its people do not exist as a nation and are just British citizens living on disputed land.
Foreign minister Hector Timerman continued his war of words with Britain after declaring that Argentina would control the islands within 20 years.
According to Sky News, on a visit to London, Timerman claimed the United Nations only acknowledged two parties to the sovereignty dispute, the UK and Argentina.
During a news conference he said that 'the Falklands islanders do not exist. What exists is British citizens who live in the Islas Malvinas'.
He added that 'the United Nations does not recognise a third party in the conflict. It says there are just two parts - the UK and Argentina'.
Timerman also expanded on his decision to withdraw from talks with William Hague after the Foreign Secretary insisted islanders should also be represented, the report said.
He blamed Hague for issuing an 'ultimatum' and invited him to travel to Argentina instead for a meeting without conditions.
Falkland islanders who had travelled to London criticised Timerman's refusal to attend the meeting with them and Mr Hague.
Jan Cheek, representing the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, said that 'they are disappointed, but hardly surprised.
He added that 'Argentina prefers to disregard our existence, rather than engage constructively with the people who have lived on the Falkland Islands for so many generations'.
Timerman has compared the UK's approach to the islands to Israeli settlement building on the West Bank and called the British 'fanatics' for refusing to budge, the report added.