Fernández and Biden greeted each other warmly at the summit reception

The Government encourages expectations for Fernández’s bilateral meeting with Biden

Photo: Presidency

The Government encourages expectations for the bilateral meeting that President Alberto Fernández will hold on July 26 in Washington with his counterpart from the United States, Joe Biden, in what will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders after the exchanges they held in various international forums and summits.

Fernández is preparing to finalize the trip to the United States after the change of leadership in the Ministry of Economy, with the arrival of Silvina Batakis, and in the midst of the Government’s efforts to ensure the continuity of the agreement sealed with the International Monetary Fund regarding the debt contracted in 2018 during the administration of Mauricio Macri.

Batakis will even be part of the entourage that will travel to Washington in 10 days, sources from the Ministry of Economy confirmed to Télam, and it is expected that he could be one of the three people who will accompany the head of state during the talk with Biden in the Oval Office. , since they are working so that the bilateral has the “1 + 3” format, which means that the leaders will be accompanied by three officials.

In economic matters, the agenda of the meeting will inexorably include a review of the progress of the agreement with the IMF, which Batakis ratified as soon as he assumed it, but the implications of the Russian invasion in Ukraine will also be addressed, circumstances that for Argentina could justify incorporation of any changes.

Ten days ago, Batakis acknowledged in a radio interview that “some modifications” could be agreed upon in the body’s reviews and he advanced that it was necessary to be “realistic” and “honest” because Argentina has to work “jointly” with the Fund, although he took for granted that there will be “tensions” in the talks.

The IMF, meanwhile, supported in the last week the new management of the Palacio de Hacienda and considered that the measures implemented by Batakis in recent days were “consistent” with the objectives of the program that the agency had signed with Argentina in March.

“We welcome the efforts to control spending, improve collection and coordination on public debt, so we remain committed to the minister and her team to implement the economic support program,” said IMF Communications Director Gerry Rice.

Photo Presidency
Photo: Presidency

Last Monday, in what was the first strong announcement of his administration, Batakis had presented a series of measures aimed at achieving fiscal balance with savings of 600,000 million pesos, including the modification of the Financial Administration Law to optimize resources, the ratification of tariff segmentation and the freezing of the entry of state personnel.

Another of the issues that will fly over in the meeting with Biden is the delay in the disbursement by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) of the credits that correspond to Argentina for the first semester of 2022, a delay that Argentine officials they clearly award the head of the entity, the Cuban-American Mauricio Claver-Carone.

An old acquaintance for the management of the Front of All, a former Donald Trump official in the Security area and a hard-line Republican, Claver-Carone is the man who publicly acknowledged when participating in a diplomatic forum in Chile that Trump’s management pressured the board from the IMF to grant Argentina a record stand-by credit: the objective was to help Macri in the 2019 presidential elections.

During his recent speech at the IX Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, Fernández questioned that Claver-Carone had become head of the IDB, which meant breaking the tradition of the hemisphere that the regional bank was led by a Latin American. “They have appropriated the leadership of the Inter-American Development Bank, which was historically in Latin American hands,” the head of state said there.

But in addition to the economic agenda, the consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine and NATO, the energy and food crisis and climate change will be addressed in the bilateral meeting on July 26, topics in which the management of the FdT and the government American Democrat have shown some coincidences in recent international forums.

Regarding the bilateral meeting with Biden, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero announced this week that the intention is to develop a “positive agenda” with the United States while underlining the “great possibilities” that Argentina has in deepening the bond with that country, in based on its “natural resources and the great technical capacity of its scientific and technological apparatus”.

In turn, the ambassador in Washington, Jorge Argüello, one of Fernández’s most trusted collaborators in relations with the US administration, is already finalizing the details of the trip: the bilateral visit on July 26 will not be the last visit of the year because On Tuesday, September 20, the president will speak at the United Nations General Assembly. And it is not ruled out that there is another activity.

“The President’s meeting with Biden is, in itself, already a message, because Biden has received few world heads of state in the Oval Office; that he has invited Fernández to discuss the global agenda and the bilateral agenda is a auspicious fact and the recognition of a role that both are playing in the region,” Argüello analyzed this Saturday in dialogue with Télam.

Argüello returned to Washington on Friday from the town of Labuan Bajo, in eastern Indonesia, where he participated in a meeting of the “sherpas” (collaborators of leaders who advise at the summits) who will advise the heads of state at the next meeting. of the G-20, to be held on the island of Bali in mid-November.

The bilateral meeting for July 26 was scheduled after Fernández and Biden held a telephone conversation on June 1, when the US president formalized an invitation for the Argentine president to visit Washington “during the last week of July,” with the intention of deepening the relationship and addressing an agenda of strategic cooperation issues.

That day they discussed food insecurity, the energy transition, the new regional value chains and technological change with social inclusion, in a context where the most powerful nations assure that it is essential to restore peace and end the war in Ukraine.

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