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ARGENTINA | 23-01-2021 08:46

Argentina greets Biden’s inauguration with mixed messages

President Alberto Fernández on Thursday sent his new United States colleague Joe Biden a congratulatory letter which contrasted in both cordiality and length with a terse Foreign Ministry statement the previous day.

President Alberto Fernández on Thursday sent his new United States colleague Joe Biden a congratulatory letter which contrasted in both cordiality and length with a terse Foreign Ministry statement the previous day.

The latter read in full: “We congratulate the people of the United States, President Joseph Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Argentina wishes to boost relations and see that multilateral organisms are respected, also hoping that there is no betting on the disunity of our countries, as in the previous stage.” (Or that at least is this newspaper’s translation of the Spanish text which came our way because the unofficial reaction in Washington was that, despite the brevity of the message, the quality of the English left much to be desired.)

President Fernández was far more positive, congratulating Biden on offering a “horizon of hope" and wishing him “every success in your new administration.” Arguing that “no country can save itself alone at this instance in our history,” Fernández looked forward “to a joint agenda of creative and innovative work with its emphasis on the future while feeding from our common values,” also “celebrating your decision to restore confidence and participation in global multilateralism such as the Climate Change Agreement and rejoining the World Health Organisation.” 

He also hailed Biden’s knowledge of Latin American reality and the importance of the region and even had a kind word for public-private partnerships although these have been discontinued under his presidency. 

Meanwhile, Argentina;s Ambassador to Washington Jorge Argüello said that he was working towards a bilateral meeting between the two presidents, saying that the feeling was mutual, even though he could not set any date.The two men had already held a 35-minute telephone conversation last November 30. 

Like President Fernández, Argüello also hailed "the return to multilateralism, " as well as highlighting the importance of US investment in Argentina with an upcoming Ford investment of US$580 million. 

– TIMES

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