Blinken calls Milei meeting ‘productive,’ says dollarization is ‘Argentina’s decision’

The US Secretary of State pointed to Argentina’s potential in the energy transition as one of the areas to expand cooperation

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken called his Friday morning meeting with President Javier Milei “very productive,” saying Argentina has “huge potential” and pointing to the country’s role in the transition to clean energy as an area where the countries could expand cooperation.

“We want [our] companies to continue being a preferred partner for economic opportunities,” Blinked said at a press conference in Casa Rosada alongside Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino after the meeting. He added that U.S. companies are already investing in northwestern Argentina, where the country’s large lithium reserves are located. 

Blinken was in Argentina on Friday as part of a short trip to South America, including a visit to Brazil to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting and a meeting with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He is the highest-ranking U.S. official to meet with Milei since his inauguration last December. 

Following his meeting with the Argentine president and officials, including Economy Minister Luis Caputo, Interior Minister Guillermo Francos, designated Argentine Ambassador to the United States Gerardo Werthein, and Foreign Minister Mondino, Blinken toured the Casa Rosada and gave a press conference. 

Asked about Argentina’s economic woes, Blinken said that the U.S. supports the country’s agreement with the IMF but chose not to comment on Milei’s dollarization plan on the grounds that that was “Argentina’s decision” to make. 

Minister Mondino celebrated Blinken’s visit, saying she hoped the bilateral relationship between the countries could grow amid their shared values of “freedom and democracy.” She called the meeting between the U.S. Secretary of State and the President “very positive,” adding that it gave them the opportunity to discuss their ideas, among them the “freedom of currency,” which is how she referred to dollarization.

“This might be harder to understand for people who come from different perspectives, but for those who have lived — and continue to live — amid soaring inflation, it is much easier to comprehend.” 

Secretary Blinken also stated that the U.S. valued Argentina’s leadership in regional security issues, adding that the country is a “key member” of the coalition trying to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia. He mentioned that Washington appreciated Milei’s support for Israel and his strong condemnation of the October 7 Hamas attack. 

He also underscored Argentina’s commitment to defending human rights as an area where the two countries could expand cooperation. 

Asked by the press about Milei’s presence this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual right-wing gathering favored by far-right leaders such as former U.S. President Donald Trump, who are highly critical of current U.S. President Joe Biden, Blinken said he preferred to focus on his “incredibly positive” meeting with Milei, adding that what the Argentine president did was not his concern. 

“I always say, I don’t do politics, I do policy.”

You may also be interested in: What’s CPAC, the right-wing conference Milei is attending in the US?


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald