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ARGENTINA | 07-11-2019 12:02

Alberto Fernández discusses IMF debt with Trump adviser

President-elect reportedly tells US official he will honour IMF debt and wants to work together with Trump, despite differences on other issues.

Alberto Fernández met with a key advisor to US President Donald Trump during his trip to Mexico this week, with Argentina's multi-billion-dollar debt with the IMF on the agenda.

The renegotiation of the country's debt with the International Monetary Fund is one of the most important challenges that will need to be resolved by the incoming government headed by Alberto Fernández starting December 10. 

According to various local outlets, the president-elect took advantage of his trip to Mexico this week to meet with Mauricio Claver-Carone, a special assistant to US President Trump and senior advisor for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

“I want the IMF to help us pay the debt, we don’t want to default,” Fernández said in comments reported by Clarín

Before the trip to Mexico, Trump had called Fernández to congratulate him on his victory in the October 27 elections.

“I received a call from Donald Trump, and he communicated to me that he instructed the IMF to work with us to resolve the problem of our debt. I thanked him for his important gesture and I passed along my intention to maintain a mature and cordial relationship with the United States,” Fernández detailed on Twitter. 

According to the report in Clarín, Claver-Carone and Fernández talked about Latin America, what’s happening in Chile, and the situation in Ecuador.

The president-elect reportedly expressed to Claver-Carone that he “was happy with Donald Trump proposed, that the United States help Argentina with negotiations with the IMF.” 

Fernández furthered his position on the renegotiation of the debt in a subsequent interview with the TN news channel. 

“I don’t want Argentines to owe more money to the IMF, which should take responsibility and revise what it did. Mauricio Macri announced he can’t pay, but we want to honour the deal. That doesn’t mean looking for debt forgiveness [which the IMF prohibits]. It means the IMF would give us the chance to get ourselves back on our feet, produce, export and get together the dollars to ultimately pay,” he told TN. 

“I told Donald Trump my desires to work together, in spite of the differences we have. It seems to me his call and his offer to help us get out from under the IMF and from the hole into which we’ve fallen,” Fernández said.

“I explained the reality that has happened to us, because he had muddled facts, and we trust that we will be able to work together.” 

Meanwhile, the president-elect used his social networks to criticise a recent report put out by the outgoing Macri government, titled “Eight points about the economy.” 

“Even though Marcos Peña and his officials write absurd reports and present an Argentina that doesn’t exist, every day that passes, reality reveals his lies. This is the country that they left us,” Fernández wrote on Twitter. 

Fernández returns to Buenos Aires on Thursday and has a meeting with the CGT umbrella union group lined up for Friday.

The incoming president will begin to define the terms of the “social pact” he promised on the campaign trail at the meeting, officials told Perfil.

– TIMES/PERFIL

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