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Powell Meets with Argentina's New President - 2003-06-10


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Buenos Aires Tuesday for his first meeting with Argentina's new president, Nestor Kirchner. Mr. Powell said he would convey Washington's intention "to have good relations with Argentina."

Mr. Kirchner of Argentina's popular Peronist Party invited Cuba's Communist President Fidel Castro to his inauguration two weeks ago and declared an end to what he said was Argentina's policy of automatic alignment with the United States.

But Secretary of State Powell has stressed the Bush administration's hopes for a good relationship with the new Argentine government, and said he would discuss plans for an early visit to Washington by Mr. Kirchner.

The new Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa joined Mr. Powell on his flight to Buenos Aires from Santiago, where both had attended the annual general assembly of the Organization of American States.

A key issue there was how to strengthen the democratic institution of hemisphere countries, like Argentina, grappling with severe recessions and high unemployment.

The OAS will host a special summit level meeting with the same theme in Mexico in November.

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