Soap opera foreign policy: US tells Argentina keep up negotiations with IMF
Last October when Argentine president Alberto Fernandez left for Rome to the G20 leaders’ summit, his office informed that he was expecting to meet with US president Joe Biden to among other issues address support for Argentina in its ongoing exhausting negotiations with the IMF.
The fact is that Fernandez did meet Biden, but for just a few seconds, social chat, in a corridor leading to the main hall room where discussions where to take place The official Argentine presidency report was that the two leaders spoke about a common good friend, Argentine born Pope Francis. Biden is a mass going Catholic.
There was no mention of the IMF and there was no formal sitting down meeting of the two leaders, since none apparently was scheduled.
Serious media in Buenos Aires, described the meeting as a sort of ambush by the Argentine delegation on a surprised Biden and his own team. A video also shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel, quickly sliding past, avoiding the encounter. This however did not impede the Argentine presidency of openly talking in Buenos Aires of the presidential meeting.
Something similar seems to have happened this week when foreign minister Santiago Cafiero was in Washington to meet Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken again precisely mainly to address negotiations with the IMF and request US support particularly at the Fund’s board where US has a leading influence.
The meeting in effect was most cordial, with praise for Argentina and all the ceremony accompaniment but the main issue and interest of the visitor received pure solid reiterated IMF rhetoric.
Despite what the Argentine official media could have reported Secretary of State statements follows, Secretary Blinken congratulated Argentina on its election as President of the United Nations Human Rights Council and welcomed the opportunity to work with Argentina to support democracy and human rights in the Americas and beyond.
The Secretary discussed Argentina’s negotiation with the International Monetary Fund and encouraged Argentina to put forward a strong economic policy framework that will return the country to growth.
Finally, the Secretary and Foreign Minister expressed serious concern about the recent visit to Nicaragua of Iranian Vice President Mohsen Rezai, subject of an Interpol Red Notice for aggravated murder and damages in connection with the 1994 AMIA bombing, which killed 85 people in Buenos Aires. They discussed cooperation on efforts to bring to justice those suspected of complicity in the attack.
It must be recalled that the IMF has been demanding all along that Argentina presents a reasonably valid program for the next few years, something that President Fernandez at some moment said he did not believe in such programs, and later promised to have one elaborated, but so far remains a promise