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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Nuclear Non Proliferation; Americas

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0979/01 1380952
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180952Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8184
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000979

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; NUCLEAR NON PROLIFERATION; AMERICAS
COMPETITIVENESS FORUM; CHAVEZ-TECHINT; 05/17/07

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's major international opinion pieces are related to
Argentina's nuclear development and its commitments to the Nuclear
Non Proliferation regime; Argentine government officials attending
the Americas Competitiveness Forum to be held in Atlanta; and
negotiations between the Venezuelan Government and Argentine company
Techint.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Argentina vis-`-vis the nuclear issue"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an op-ed piece by Carlos Escud,
head of the Center for International Research, CEMA University,
opines (05/17) "In the '90s Argentina adopted a foreign policy of
cooperation with the West, which I called 'peripheral realism' while
most of the local media termed it 'carnal relations.'

"This policy, which has never been popular, aligned the country with
all the ongoing deals against WMD. Argentina endorsed and ratified
the global Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and the regional Treaty
of Tlatelolco...

"By doing so, the country stepped away from an abundant history of
confrontation with Western powers and some neighboring countries.

"... Nevertheless, many things have changed ever since... On the
other hand, the world has also changed. The US ability to impose
sanctions has diminished because it is currently too committed to
its wars and it cannot afford to make more enemies. Additionally,
the US has demonstrated it is not up to playing the role of policing
the world it wanted.

"Certainly, both Argentina and Brazil received arguments about the
adverse consequences of sustaining nuclear and missile plans...

"Nevertheless, when India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons
thereby not abiding by treaties, nothing happened! After that, came
the North Korean bomb. And now, with the Iranian threat, we are on
the verge of a wave of nuclear programs ...

"Meanwhile, in spite of the constraints imposed by ongoing treaties,
Argentine nuclear industry continues bearing fruit. The Argentine
reactor recently inaugurated in Australia is the best evidence that
not everything has collapsed here in this regard... This activity
should be fostered and praised.

"The conclusion we should draw today is that Argentina should not
dishonor its commitments (including those emerging from the Nuclear
Non Proliferation Treaty). It should remain an ally of the West in
the fight against Islamic terrorism, narco-trafficking and money
laundering. It should again fully cooperate with neighboring
countries and avoid victimizing Uruguay.

"However, it should never accept the imposition of agreements that
set constraints on its development of vanguard technologies.

"It no longer makes sense. The conditions imposed by peripheral
realism have changed."

- "Miceli will attend a 'Competitiveness Forum' in the US"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
penned (05/17) "Economy Minister Felisa Miceli and Planning Minister
Julio De Vido were invited to attend the Americas Competitiveness
Forum (ACF), which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 11-12...

"Hosted by US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, this forum is
part of the so-called 'Positive Agenda' of the Bush administration
for Latin America. The purpose is gathering economy ministers,
leaders from the private sector, academics and NGOs to 'explore
cutting edge ideas and best practices in several key areas of
competitiveness.'

"The US grants major importance to this Forum, which will not only
be attended by Secretary Gutierrez but also by Treasury Secretary
Henry Paulson.

"In order to track the origin of this forum, one should go back to
the 2005 Mar del Plata Summit of the Americas. By then, US President
Bush suggested to hold a hemispheric meeting focused on the problem
posed by competitiveness. Amid the tension unleashed by Chavez-led
anti-Summit and FTAA discussions, the idea went unnoticed. However,
now the US Department of State has strongly re-launched the idea.

"... The ACF's main tracks are: sparking and sustaining innovation;


creating solutions in education and workforce development; designing
successful global supply chain strategies; and fostering small
business development and growth."

- "Arm wrestling between Chavez and Techint continues"

Gustavo Bazzan, columnist of leading "Clarin," writes (05/17) "Paolo
Rocca's stay in Caracas is longer than he had imagined... He was
willing to reach a deal with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez over
the future of the Sidor steel company to immediately go back to his
routine.

"However, when he arrived in Caracas he found a different panorama -
he was not received by Chavez and only yesterday was he able to meet
face to face with Venezuelan VP Jorge Rodriguez and other Venezuelan
government officials.

"... The main topics subject to negotiation were the amount sold and
price fixed by Sidor for its flat steel, which is sold to the
domestic market, as well as the prices paid by state company
Ferrominera for iron mineral, Sidor's basic input.

"Techint sources had said just a few days ago that the group agreed
to lower the price of its products and pay higher prices for the
inputs it buys. Nonetheless, the Venezuelan government officials
seemed not to be satisfied. This is why Chavez has not shown up yet
in meetings but instead sent members of his staff for more demands.

"As a matter of fact, it has become known that, in addition to
insisting on the nationalization of Sidor, the steel trade union
asked the corporation to supply steel for the Venezuelan naval
industry and its new railways.

"...President Kirchner admitted he meddled between Chavez and
Techint. Perhaps Chavez will not nationalize Sidor, but it is clear
that he will continue pressuring for better conditions before the
photo-op with Rocca occurs."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

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