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Last Updated:[18-12-2009 06:31:12 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Argentina Sees Remarks by US Envoy as Political Posturing

tradenews The US Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela’s recent visit to Argentina did not pan out as expected after he quoted the US businessmen had raised investment doubts over legal insecurity in Argentina - a stark contrast to his optimism during a 1996 visit. On account of this, the Argentine foreign ministry came out with a quick rebuttal stating that the Kirchner administration did not receive any complaints from the US firms with an interest in investing.

The Chilean-born Valenzuela’s statement enraged a slew of lawmakers and high level officials including Interior Minister of Argentina Florencio Randazzo and Argentine Ambassador to the US Héctor Timmerman. Nonetheless, the US envoy’s comments found favor with the Argentine Rural Society president Hugo Biolcatti and a Socialist stalwart and Santa Fe governor Hermes Binner.

Randazzo said that Argentina was no longer a country where foreign officials could lecture it as to its interests. Timmerman expressed concern and said that Argentina would have to analyze what were the underlying factors behind his words; whether there had been a change in stance or if the country was been demanded to state a new position.

Timmerman also described the US envoy’s comment as "a complete ignorance of Argentine reality", and observed that they could be seen as a personal interest to block dialogue. Agustin Rossi, the head of the Victory Front bloc in the Lower House shared similar views by stating that he thought the time in which a foreign official came to give us lessons had passed.

On the contrary, Biolcatti seconded Valenzuela by saying that he was right; there was indeed an enormous legal uncertainty to invest in Argentina. While Binner said he agreed with Valenzuela's comments as every businessman in his province was concerned about legal uncertainty.

Most lawmakers perceive the controversial statements as political posturing by the US despite Vilma Martinez, the US ambassador to Argentina making it clear that in spite of what might have been appeared in the newspapers, our relations remained very positive. Martinez also told that Argentina was a key ally in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and nuclear non-proliferation.

By Jose Roy

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