Jan Cheek, member of the Falkland Islands legislative assembly, said the Argentine authorities were "deeply worried" about a referendum on the islands, and dismissed comments by foreign minister Hector Timerman as "desperate":
Talk of the Falklands being Argentine in 20 years makes for good headlines - but smacks of desperation.
Mr Timerman dismisses us as 'settlers'. Well, we are settlers. Like countries across the continent of the Americas, we came into existence through waves of settlement from Europe and elsewhere.
Indeed, we Falkland islanders settled in our home long before many parts of Argentina were settled by the Argentines.
We are a thriving community, with a growing international voice. We want good neighbourly relations with Argentina, we are willing to talk with them and we cannot be ignored.
Foreign Secretary William Hague today met Jan Cheek and Dick Sawle of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
The Falkland Islands is a self-governing British Overseas Territory and a thriving democracy with a growing economy.
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.
They have the British Government’s full support.
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.