WASHINGTON – United States President Donald Trump offered on Friday his help to Argentine president-elect Alberto Fernandez in overcoming the economic challenges facing the country, and expressed his desire to maintain a positive bilateral relationship, the White House said.
The White House did not specify whether Trump and Fernandez spoke about the International Monetary Fund during their telephone conversation as claimed by the latter in a tweet.
It said Trump telephoned Fernandez to congratulate him on his win in the Oct. 27 presidential election, in which he defeated the current president, Mauricio Macri, who maintained a good relationship with Washington during his tenure.
Trump and Fernandez talked about the strong bilateral relationship between the US and Argentina as well as the extensive ties between the two countries and their citizens, the White House said.
The American leader expressed the US’ desire to continue the positive bilateral cooperation, especially about security, democracy, and economic development, and also extended the US’ support to the Latin American the country in tackling its economic challenges.
In a tweet, Fernandez said that “Trump has instructed the International Monetary Fund to work with us to resolve the problem of our debt.”
Fernandez will take office on Dec. 10 amid a severe economic recession that has afflicted Argentina for more than a year and half and will have as his deputy, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who was the country’s president between 2007-2015 and had a rocky relationship with Washington.
During the election campaign, Fernandez had said that Argentina was heavily conditioned by American policies but that he would seek a “mature” relationship with the US.
The US’ support was essential for Macri in Argentina’s relationship with the IMF, which, in 2018, approved a loan of $56.3 billion for the country to address its economic difficulties.
The payment of that loan as well as those from Argentina’s other external debt creditors is a matter that Fernandez will have to determine how to address after taking office.