LONDON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman Tuesday predicted his country will control the Falkland Islands within two decades.
Timerman traveled to London for discussions on the islands, The Guardian reported. But he declined to meet with his British counterpart, William Hague, because representatives of the islanders would be there.
In an interview at the Argentine Embassy, Timerman told The Guardian his country does not want to go to war over the archipelago. Instead, he predicted pressure from other countries would force Britain to give way.
"I don't think it will take another 20 years," he said. "I think that the world is going through a process of understanding more and more that this is a colonial issue, an issue of colonialism, and that the people living there were transferred to the islands."
British Prime Minister David Cameron argues the issue is self-determination. The Falkland islanders, who number fewer than 3,000, are scheduled to vote in March on their future and are expected to vote overwhelmingly to remain a British overseas territory.
Several countries including Britain, France, Spain and finally Argentina attempted to settle the Falklands after their discovery in 1600. In 1833, Britain seized the islands from Argentina.
In 1982, Argentina invaded the islands. Britain seized them back after a two-month undeclared war.
Timerman said if Argentina regains sovereignty the islanders will retain "their way of life, their language and right to remain British citizens."