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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > From the Under Secretary > Remarks > 2002 Under Secretary for Political Affairs Remarks

Interview on Buenos Aires Radio 10 , Program: "Siempre Noticias"

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
With Journalists Oscar Gonzalez Oro and Eduardo Freiman
Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 6, 2002

OSCAR GONZALEZ ORO (O): "Itís 11:19am in the morning. Earlier this morning we were saying that President Duhalde had received the Ďnumber threeí person from the Department of State, an envoy from the President of the United States, President Bush, and he asked him that the United States free up financial assistance. Weíve got Marc Grossman on the line, Under Secretary for Political Affairs of the Department of State of the United States. So that everyone understands, weíve got a translator on line. Weíre going to ask them that they welcome him, the translator, welcome Mr. Grossman, and thank him for the kindness in speaking with us."

AMBASSADOR GROSSMAN (AG): Well, thank-you very much and itís a pleasure to be on your show this morning.

O: ĎThank-youí, says Grossman. The question is, how did you see President Eduardo Duhalde? How did you observe him? Did you notice him --?

AG: Well I was honored that the President would take some time to visit with me yesterday. I came with a message of political support from Washington, and from Secretary Powell in particular, and I told President Duhalde that the United States considers Argentina to be a friend, a partner, and an ally. So I was honored to be there and I was honored to deliver my message.

O: How does the United States view Argentina today with respect to Argentina in the month of January and in the month of December?

AG: Well our view of Argentina really is quite consistent, which is that Argentina, as I say, is our friend and ally and a partner of the United States. You know sometimes, and Iím sure your listeners have this, sometimes people focus only on the economic questions and my job was to remind people that in all areas the United States and Argentina are working together

EDUARDO FREIMAN (F): Mr. Grossman, good morning. My name is Eduardo Freiman, and I wanted to ask you the following: is there financial assistance coming to the Argentine Republic?

AG: Well Mr. Freiman, I appreciate the question. What I have told everybody here is that President Bush, in a speech to the Organization of American States on the 16th of January, was very clear that when Argentina has a sustainable and sound economic program the United States of America will be ready to help Argentina in the international financial institutions. President Duhalde yesterday gave me information about where he thinks he stands, and Iím sure he will be giving that information as well to the IMF team which is in Buenos Aires today.

F: At first sight, what Dr. Duhalde presented to you, is it enough to bring money from the Fund?

AG: Well, I think youíd understand, sir, that with the International Monetary Fund team here in Buenos Aires, the last thing that I would wish to do is get in between the government of Argentina and the International Monetary Fund.

But Iím quite sure, sir, that President Duhalde and his government will make the same information available to the IMF that was available to us yesterday.

O: It became known to us, Mr. Grossman, that there was a tremendous concern in the United States because of the social unrest that Argentina lived through in recent times because, somehow, if Argentina became too unstable it could destabilize the whole region. Iím referring to Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and some other countries. Does this concern exist in the U.S. government?

AG: Sir, let me answer your question in three ways. Of course weíre concerned about what happens in Colombia, Iím sorry, in Argentina. And thatís why President Bush spoke so forcefuly about it on the 16th of January. We want Argentina to succeed. Argentinians should not feel alone. The second thing I would say is I want to deal clearly with the implication in your question that somehow we are worried about Argentinaís democracy. We are not. We believe that Argentina is a democracy and will stay a democracy and believes in democracy. The third point is that people who are more expert than I am say that this question of the spread and contagion around the hemisphere has not happened, and that we need to focus on working with Argentina so that Argentina succeeds.

F: Mr. Grossman, to demonstrate that we truly are friends, allies, and partners of the United States, is it key for Argentina to vote condemning the violation of human rights of Fidel Castroís regime in Cuba?

AG: I had a chance to tell President Duhalde yesterday that both Argentina and the United States have the opportunity to show that we believe in the principles of Quebec by voting for a Cuba resolution in Geneva. The Government of Argentina has to make its own decision. I simply convey that we have an opportunity to meet our principles here.

O: Lastly, Mr. Grossman, are U.S. corporations willing to keep investing in Argentina given the conditions we are undergoing now?

AG: Well, the report I have had here from Ambassador Walsh and his team is that we want to support the American businesses that are here, and if there is a sound and sustainable program we believe that United States investors will come back and also have new interests. I think that is why itís so important that these talks between Argentina and the IMF go well this week.

O: Mr. Grossman, the last question and itís very short. On a score of 1 to 10 where do we place (in what position do we stand) so that money will come to Argentina?

AG: Sir, you are a professional at your business, and Iím a professional at mine. And, thereís not a chance Iím going to give you that number. But I will thank you very much for the opportunity to be on your show today.

O: Thank you, Mr. Grossman. Thank-you very much indeed.

AG: Thanks a lot.

O: There we had the number three at the Department of State of the United States of America. I was impacted by a sentence he said, that ĎArgentines should not feel alone.í

E: Yes, indeed.

O: News on Radio 10."

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