Defense ministry held meetings with US Southern Command
General Laura Richardson met with Defense Minister Jorge Taiana yesterday
APRIL 18, 2023
Argentina’s Defense Minister Jorge Taiana and General Laura Richardson of the United States Southern Command met yesterday in Buenos Aires to discuss military topics and potential bilateral agreements.
The U.S. general traveled to Buenos Aires to meet defense and military officers, according to the Embassy’s website.
“We spoke about several defense matters,” tweeted Taiana afterward. “The pending bilateral agreements, the hierarchy of the Armed Forces, military equipment, and the strategic priority that the South Atlantic has for Argentina”
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who visited Argentina last week, told the Herald that “there are ongoing discussions between the US and Argentina about jets.”
The U.S. Embassy in Argentina also shared a tweet about the meeting, saying that they had discussed strategies for cooperating in the areas of peacekeeping and disaster relief.
US Ambassador to Argentina Marc Stanley tweeted yesterday that Richardson will hold “important meetings” in Argentina with counterparts in the Defense Ministry to “continue with our solid relationship and focusing on the upcoming 200 years of bilateral relations”.
There have been tensions between the US and Brazil this week following Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to the Latin American country.
“The US needs to stop incentivizing war and start talking about peace,” said President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. “The European Union needs to start talking about peace in order to convince [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Ukrainian President Volodímir] Zelensky that peace is in everyone’s interest.”
Richardson last visited Argentina in April 2022, when she held a meeting with Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. In January this year she was interviewed by the Atlantic Council where she expressed US interest in the region’s natural resources, including the lithium triangle.
“Why this region matter with all its rich resource and rare earth elements, you’ve got the lithium triangle which is needed for technology today,” Richardson said. “We have the Amazon, lungs of the world. We have 31% of the world’s freshwater in this region.”
Her comments were heavily criticized on social media for seemingly referring to the region’s natural resources as belonging to the US.
“We have a lot to do, this region matters,” she said. “It has a lot to do with national security and we need to step up our game.”