Biden Spoke to Argentina President Fernandez Amid IMF Deal Talks

Biden Spoke to Argentina President Fernandez Amid IMF Deal Talks

18:43 - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden spoke by phone Monday for the first time with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, according to Fernandez’s spokesman.

The two leaders spoke about the economic situation in Latin America, bilateral relations and Pope Francis, who is from Argentina and met Biden, a Catholic, during his time as vice president, according to a government statement. The ongoing negotiations between Fernandez’s government and the International Monetary Fund, where the Biden administration will play a key role, weren’t mentioned as part of the conversation in the statement.

Fernandez was the first leader in Latin America to congratulate Biden on his election victory, according to a tally by the Washington-based Wilson Center. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have both so far failed to do so.

“Biden underlined that Latin America’s economic situation is very important and that one has to help the continent in its economic recovery,” according to the Argentine government statement.

Biden’s administration will play a key role in the IMF agreement Fernandez’s administration is negotiating. The U.S. is the IMF’s largest member by financing, and any major Fund agreement requires U.S. backing. A previous record IMF agreement in 2018 granted to Argentina was heavily advocated for by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Fernandez plans to announce a multi-year economic plan as part of the IMF deal.

Fernandez said in recent interviews that he hopes to relaunch the U.S.-Argentine relationship once Biden takes office in January.

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