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Hague calls for Falklands to “decide their own future”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has stated that the people of the Falkland Islands must “decide their own future”, after meeting with the island’s representatives.

Speaking after meeting members of the islands’ legislative assembly, Hague said,

“Through nine generations the people of the Falklands have worked tirelessly to establish their position in the world and their voice deserves to be heard. With this in mind, I welcome their forthcoming referendum in March."

"This will be a chance for the people of the Falkland Islands to express their views about how they wish to be governed, and in a democratic and incontestable way without other people speaking for them."

"It is of course a shame that the Argentine Foreign Minister, Hector Timerman, was unwilling to join us for a conversation about the Falkland Islands.

"As I have said before there is no way such a conversation could have taken place without members of the Falkland Islands government being present, especially given the current Argentine government's behaviour towards the Islanders.

"It is, and must always be, for them to decide their own future."

Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman had declined to attend the meeting, having earlier stated,

"I think they are using the people living in the islands for political [reasons] and to have access to oil and natural resources which belong to the Argentine people."