WASHINGTON.- Sitting face to face for the first time, Antony Blink welcomed the Argentine foreign minister, Santiago Cafiero, to the State Department at the beginning of their bilateral meeting and told him that Argentina is a “friend and partner” of the United States in the hemisphere, and that it supports a “vibrant Argentine economy” because that will help strengthen the bilateral relationship and regional leadership from the country.
“Argentina is a friend and partner in the hemisphere and beyond, we have a lot to talk about today, from challenges in our hemisphere to much beyond,” Blinken told Cafiero, in a brief statement to the press before the start of the conference. his bilateral at the State Department in Washington. “We very strongly support a vibrant Argentine economy because it will only strengthen our own association and Argentina’s leadership in the hemisphere,” added the chief diplomat of the Joe Biden government.
On the other side of the table, Cafiero, the Argentine ambassador, was listening to him. Jorge Arguello, and officials from the Argentine embassy who went with the head of the Palacio San Martín to meet with Blinken and his collaborators.
“It is very important to have this meeting, it is very important to continue strengthening the relationship with the United States,” said Cafiero, who highlighted the “constructive agenda” with the Joe Biden government, in which he included the defense of human rights – an area where the Alberto Fernández government is criticized in Washington for its erratic position – climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and economic sustainability for development.
Neither of them mentioned Argentina’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Although Cafiero’s visit was marked by uncertainty in the discussions with the Fund, which appear to be stalled, the visit of the head of Palacio San Martín to Washington and his meeting with Blinken have a much broader agenda, and will not result in a break or a breakthrough in the negotiation.
Neither Cafiero nor Blinken –especially Blinken– are directly involved in the process. The Treasury Department, where the government sees more obstacles than the State Department or the White House, has more weight in the discussion. The Joe Biden administration has so far offered a consistent message: the United States will support Argentina if it presents a solid economic plan that encourages growth and private investment.