Hector Timerman, speaking Tuesday at the United Nations, called the referendum "illegal" and said it is "truly deplorable" that Britain has rejected 40 resolutions by the U.N. Decolonization Committee calling for negotiations between the two countries on sovereignty.
Timerman was flanked at a press conference by ministers representing major Latin American and Caribbean organizations, saying he wanted to demonstrate the region's unity in support of Argentina's claim to the islands and its demand for sovereignty talks.
The islands in the south Atlantic have been British territory since 1765, but Argentina accuses Britain of invading the islands, which it claims and calls the Malvinas.
Britain's U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant countered that the Falkland Islanders exercised their right to self-determination under the U.N. Charter in a referendum this month, and 99.8 percent of voters said they want to remain a British overseas territory.
"The United Kingdom government's position will remain that there will not and cannot be any discussions on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until the islanders so wish," Lyall Grant said. "Their views are now unequivocally on the record and should be respected by all."
Timerman denounced Britain's "military invasion" of the Falklands but said Argentina wants a peaceful settlement.
He claimed that Britain wants the Falklands as a military base "with high offensive technology close to the Antarctic and close to the only natural waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific." He called this "a strategic colonialist decision."
Lyall Grant said Timerman's claim that Britain is militarizing the south Atlantic "is completely untrue."
After Argentina invaded the Falklands in 1982, Britain increased its defense presence to deter any future aggression, but Lyall Grant said it has not changed substantially in the last 30 years.
Earlier Tuesday, Timerman met Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon along with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, representing the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States; Uruguay's Foreign Minister Luis Almargo, representing South America's Mercosur trade bloc; and Peru's Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Beraun, on behalf of the Union of South American Nations.
Timerman said the secretary-general told the ministers that Britain again rejected his offer of good offices to negotiate on sovereignty of the islands. Lyall Grant said Britain doesn't see any need for Ban's good offices and has made it clear to Argentina that the views of the islanders must be taken into account in any discussions.
Uruguay's Almargo accused Britain of seeking to exploit the islands' energy resources and called the referendum "dysfunctional," saying it is not right to cut off part of Argentina through a referendum. He added that the dispute is "becoming intolerable" for Latin America and for the U.N. itself.
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.