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Published on 12 Nov 2008
Speaker: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of the Argentine Republic Presider: Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
September 22, 2008
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in New York during the opening week of the UN General Assembly. She discussed the economic progress Argentina has made since its crisis in 2001, noting that Argentina recently agreed to repay its debt to the Paris Club and is in talks with three international banks to deal with bondholders who were not included in a 2005 debt swap. "We have been able to rebuild a country on the brink of extinction," she said. She also discussed the concept of multilateralism and its application to diplomatic crises in Latin America-both between Colombia and Ecuador and within Bolivia. She emphasized her belief that Argentina must build a strong economy based on the production of goods and services, and cautioned that the U.S. financial crisis was precipitated by lack of regulation. In response to a query on how she hopes the new U.S. president will approach Latin America, Kirchner noted her excitement at the U.S. election and her hope that the new president will work on the "reconstruction of multilateralism" and devote increased attention to Latin America.