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Cablegate: Argentina: Ambassador's Meeting with Us-Argentine

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0796 1141538
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241538Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7938
INFO RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000796

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KCRM KWMN SMIG PREF ELAB AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH US-ARGENTINE
CONGRESSIONAL FRIENDSHIP COMMITTEE

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On April 17, Ambassador Wayne met with
ten members of the US-Argentine Congressional Friendship
Committee from the Legislature's lower house to discuss
bilateral relations. Ambassador noted the positive
cooperation in traditional areas, e.g. counterterrorism and
counternarcotics, strong commercial ties, and his belief that
there is much room for growth in such areas as scientific and
technological cooperation and people-to-people outreach. He
noted pending trafficking in persons legislation before the
lower house and underscored the importance of its passage for
the effective fight against TIP in Argentina. The legislators
echoed the Ambassador's positive assessments and, in
reference to a question about the high level of
anti-Americanism in Argentina, explained their belief that it
was at least partly due to the perception that the USG's
priorities were focused elsewhere. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On April 17, Ambassador Wayne met with ten members
of the US-Argentine Congressional Friendship Committee, a
group of legislators (deputies) from the lower house who seek
to promote mutual cooperation and facilitate bilateral
relations. The Ambassador highlighted his efforts to
identify areas for collaboration and mutual benefit and said
he has found many opportunities and much willingness for the
USG and GoA to work together. He noted specifically
commonalties in counternarcotics, counterterrorism and
democracy promotion. The Ambassador encouraged members of
the Friendship Committee to establish relationships with
their counterparts in the US Congress. All agreed that
people-to-people ties are fundamental to creating a stronger
and broader foundation for the bilateral relationship over
the long term.

3. (SBU) Asked how he saw the bilateral relationship now,
the Ambassador highlighted strong commercial ties, a mutual
interest in combating international crime, peacekeeping
efforts, and scientific and technical cooperation. He
described the GoA's decision to allow the Chavez-led
anti-American demonstration in Argentina while President Bush
was visiting neighboring Uruguay as a negative signal,
unfortunate and badly timed, but he also emphasized that the
Embassy is moving forward with a positive bilateral agenda
where cooperation is in our mutual interest. The Ambassador
also applauded robust and growing relations at the
ministerial level. In response to the Ambassador's comments
that he was anxious to try and address the high level of
anti-Americanism in Argentina, the legislators expressed
their belief that the spread of anti-Americanism in South
America could be largely blamed on the perception that the
USG shifted its focus away from the region following
September 11.

4. (SBU) The Ambassador also highlighted that the fight
against Trafficking in Persons is a very important issue and
should be part of the US-Argentine bilateral relationship.
He said the passage of new TIP legislation is an important
step in the coordinated fight against human trafficking, and
anything the GoA legislators can do to facilitate passage of
the bill currently pending in the lower house and
implementation of the new law would be a positive
development. Several members said they agreed and were
working for rapid passage of the legislation.

5. (SBU) The legislators also agreed with the Ambassador
about the need for greater scientific and technological ties
and proposed specific areas of cooperation with the USG,
including nanotechnology, climate change, waste disposal
technologies, and US beef imports from Argentina. One deputy
asked for the US to support Argentina's request for
negotiations over the Malvinas (and subsequently it appeared
in the press). Another deputy complained that he thought the
slow US clearance of Argentine beef for entry into the US
(because of hoof and mouth concerns) was politically
motivated.
WAYNE

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