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Political / Social
This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Argentina. At the political level, these matters are officially handled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, also known as the Cancillería, which answers to the President. The Minister of Foreign Relations, since June 2010, is Chancellor (es: Canciller) Héctor Timerman.
Owing to its geographical remoteness, local authorities in what is today Argentina developed an early sense of autonomy. Based largely on economic needs, during colonial times their pragmatism led to a flourishing unofficial market in smuggled goods, out of the then-small port of Buenos Aires, in blatant contravention of the Spanish mercantilist laws. With the Enlightened despotism of the late-eighteenth-century Bourbon kings and the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, trade increased as the political importance of the port-city of Buenos Aires soared. The urgency for a complete liberalization of commerce remained a powerful political cause for Criollos and Mestizos, further stimulated by the politically egalitarian and revolutionary ideals spread by the French and Anglo-American revolutions. Ultimately, the actual experience of successfully defending without Spanish aid the viceroyalty from a foreign invader during the 1806–1807 British invasions of the Río de la Plata, triggered a decisive quest for even greater autonomy from the colonial metropolis.
Between 1808 and 1810, the Napoleonic French Empire openly invaded Spain, after deposing King Ferdinand VII and taking him prisoner. A Spanish resistance formed an emergency government, the Supreme Central and Governing Junta of the Kingdom in order to govern themselves and the Spanish Empire in the absence of Ferdinand VII. But, when the Supreme Central Junta dissolved itself on 29 January 1810, under extreme pressure from Napoleonic forces, most of the main cities of Spanish America refused to acknowledge its successor, a Regency Council, as the legitimate depositary of sovereignty. They proceed to name their own local juntas, as a means to exercise government in the absence of the prisoner king.
On 25 May 1810, a Criollo-led cabildo abierto formally assumed the authority from Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros. However, the ensuing United Provinces of South America (formed on the basis of the former Viceroyalty) declared itself independent on 9 July 1816, after Ferdinand VII was restored in 1815. During the Independence Wars no sovereign state recognized the United Provinces.
Until the fall of the Royalist stronghold of Lima in 1821, and the Battle of Ayacucho of 1824, territorial integrity was solely sustained by the military brilliance of Generals José de San Martín and Manuel Belgrano, the continuous efforts of northern provinces defenders Martín Miguel de Güemes and Juana Azurduy, among many others. However, during this same period, internecine power conflicts among diverse leaders, and ideological and economical struggles developed between Buenos Aires Province and much of the rest of the United Provinces, with many of the Provinces bonding themselves into a Federal League, inspired by Federalist José Gervasio Artigas' leadership. In practice, each side treated the other's grievances as a "foreign policy" matter.
The Unitarian Constitution of 1819 was immediately rejected by the provinces, and a state of anarchy ensued following the Battle of Cepeda. The only cause that could regain unity among the hostile factions was the 1825 invasion of what today is Uruguay on the part of Brazilian Empire. Uruguay, then known as the Province of the Eastern Bank of the Uruguay River, was considered a somewhat breakaway Province, since Montevideo served as the seat of the Royalist Viceroy Francisco Javier de Elío during its war on the May Revolution; and that, after the independentists victory, the Province became the main stronghold of the Federal League leader José Gervasio Artigas, who waged a long and bitter dispute during the 1810s against the Unitarians about the shape the national organization would have.
The war crisis led to a new Constitution and a first semblance of a united national government, at the same time it represented the first foreign policy crisis of the young nation (known as República Argentina, per the 1926 Constitution), as it forced the nation into war with Brazil.
The common cause the crisis provided did lead to enough institutional stability to have the British Empire recognize Argentina (as President James Monroe had the U.S. State Department done in 1822) and led to the election of the first President of Argentina. The opportunity for unity, however, was wasted largely because the new President, Bernardino Rivadavia, pushed a new Constitution even more biased towards Buenos Aires' agenda than the failed 1819 document. The war with Brazil, moreover, went badly. Land battles were won, early on, and despite some heroic feats on the part on Irish-born Admiral Guillermo Brown, the war dragged on, resulting in bankruptcy. This and the hated new constitution led to the end of the first republic by 1828; it also led, however, to peace with Brazil and the formation of an independent Uruguay.
The 26 September 1828 treaty itself became another foreign policy crisis, as it triggered a violent coup d'état by generals opposed to what they saw as a unilateral surrender. The murder of the man responsible for the treaty, Buenos Aires Governor Manuel Dorrego, itself led to a countercoup that brought with it the promise of a lasting peace; but eventually led to destabilizing consequences.
The countercoup brought in a new governor for the Buenos Aires Province, who would in time become the leading figure of a loose confederation of Argentine Provinces (the so-called Argentine Confederation). Juan Manuel de Rosas made it his mission to stabilize Argentina in a confederacy under the tutelage of Buenos Aires Province. This led to repression, massacres of native Americans in the Pampas and, in 1838, an international embargo over the case of a French journalist tortured to death at Rosas' orders. An unyielding Rosas might have let the impasse continue for a decade or more; but, Admiral Guillermo Brown made his talents amenable once again, forcing the French blockade to be lifted in 1841.
Having come to power avenging the murder of a man who had decided to cease interference in Uruguay, Rosas invaded Uruguay upon the 1842 election of a government there antagonistic to his personal commercial interests (mainly centered in the export of cow hides and beef jerky, valuable commodities in those days). Commercially close with the French and British Empires, Uruguay's crisis met with swift reprisals against Rosas and the Argentine Confederacy from the two mighty powers. Slapped with fresh embargoes and a joint blockade, Argentina by 1851 found itself bankrupt and with "rogue nation" standing; on 3 February 1852, a surprise military campaign led by the Governor of Entre Ríos Province, Justo José de Urquiza, put an end to the Rosas regime and, until 1878, at least, serious Argentine foreign policy misadventures.
The deposition of Rosas led to Argentina's present institutional framework, outlined in the 1853 constitution. The document, drafted by a legal scholar specializing in the interpretation of the United States Constitution put forth national social and economic development as its overriding principle. Where foreign policy was concerned, it specifically put emphasis on the need to encourage immigration and little else, save for the national defense against aggressions. This, of course, was forced into practice by Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López's disastrous 1865 invasion of northern Argentine territory, leading to an alliance between 1820s-era adversaries Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives (particularly Paraguay's own).
Setbacks notwithstanding, the policy was successful. Domestically, Argentina was quickly transformed by immigration and foreign investment into, arguably, the most educationally and economically advanced nation in Latin America. Whatever else was happening domestically, internationally, Argentine policy earned a reputation for pragmatism and the reliance of conflict resolution as a vehicle to advance national interests. The era's new strongman, Gen. Julio Roca, was the first Argentine leader to treat foreign policy on equal footing with foreign investment and immigration incentives, universal education and repression as instruments of national development. His first administration occupied Patagonia and entered into an 1881 agreement with Chile to that effect and his second one commissioned archaeologist Francisco Moreno to survey an appropriate boundary between the two neighbors, which brought Chile into the historic 1902 pact, settling questions over Patagonian lands east of the Andes. Later that year, endorsed his Foreign Secretary's successful negotiation of a debt dispute between Venezuela, France and Germany. Foreign Secretary Luis Drago's proposal in this, a dispute among third parties, became the Drago Doctrine, part of international law to this day.
This success led to a joint effort between Argentina, Brazil and Chile to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the United States' occupation of Veracruz, Mexico in April 1914. That May, the three nations' foreign ministers hosted U.S. officials in Canada, a conference instrumental in the withdrawal of U.S. troops that November. This also resulted in the 1915 ABC Pact signed between the three and, like Brazil and Chile, Argentina thereafter pursued a pragmatic foreign policy, focused on preserving favorable trade relationships. This policy was in evidence during the 1933 Roca-Runciman Treaty, which secured Argentine markets among British colonies, and in the Argentine position during the Chaco War. Resulting from the 1928 discovery of petroleum in the area, the dispute developed into war after Bolivia's appeal for Argentine intervention in what it saw as Paraguayan incursions into potentially oil-rich lands were rejected. Bolivia invaded in July 1932 and, despite its legitimate claim to what historically had been its territory, its government's ties to Standard Oil of New Jersey (with whom the Argentine government was in dispute over its alleged pirating of oil in Salta Province) led Buenos Aires to withhold diplomatic efforts until, in June 1935, a cease-fire was signed. The laborious negotiations called in Buenos Aires by Argentine Foreign Minister Carlos Saavedra Lamas yielded him Latin America's first Nobel Prize for Peace in 1936 and a formal peace treaty in July 1938.
As they had during World War I, Argentine governments of different ideological stripes remained consistent in one important foreign policy point: they maintained Argentina neutral, preferring to avail the nation's vast agricultural export capacity to British and U.S. wartime needs; indeed, Argentine trade surpluses totalled US$1 billion during World War I and US$1.7 billion during World War II.
The incipient 
Argentina's relations with its neighbor Chile, though generally cordial, have been strained by territorial disputes – mostly along their mountainous shared border – since the nineteenth century.
In 1958 the Argentine Navy shelled a Chilean lighthouse during the Snipe incident.
On 6 November 1965 the Argentine Gendarmerie killed Chilean Lieutenant Hernán Merino Correa, member of Carabineros de Chile in the Laguna del Desierto incident.
In 1978 the bellicose Argentine dictatorship abrogated the binding Beagle Channel Arbitration and started the Operation Soberania in order to invade Chile but aborted it a few hours later due to military and political reasons. The conflict was resolved after the Argentine defeat in the Falklands by Papal mediation in the Beagle conflict of Pope John Paul II and in the form of a Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 between Chile and Argentina ("Tratado de Paz y Amistad"), granting the islands to Chile and most of the Exclusive economic zone to Argentina; since then, other border disputes with Chile have been resolved via diplomatic negotiations.
After nearly twenty years of intermittent negotiations with the adjoining archipelagos on 2 April 1982, starting the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas). The war itself lasted just 74 days but cost the lives of nearly a thousand Argentine and British troops as well as three Falkland Islanders and resulted in the islands coming back under British administration on 14 June 1982, dealing the dictatorship a humiliating blow and, inadvertently, opening Argentina's door to democracy.
Since the return of civilian rule to Argentina in 1983, relations with Chile, the United Kingdom and the international community in general improved and Argentine officials have since publicly ruled out interpreting neighboring countries' policies as any potential threat; but Argentina still does not enjoy the full trust of the Chilean political class.
Michel Morris stated that Argentina has used threats and force to pursue its claims against Chile and Great Britain and that some of the hostile acts or armed incidents appear to have been caused by zealous local commanders.
Early on in the administration of President Carlos Menem (1989–1999), Argentina restored diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom and developed a strong partnership with the United States. It was at this time that Argentina left the Non-Aligned Movement and adopted a policy of "automatic alignment" with the United States. In 1990, Menem's Foreign Minister, Guido di Tella, memorably pronounced the U.S.–Argentine alliance to be a "carnal relationship."
Argentina was the only Latin American country to participate in the 1991 Gulf War and all phases of the Haiti operation. It has contributed to United Nations peacekeeping operations worldwide, with Argentine soldiers/engineers and police/Gendarmerie serving in El Salvador–Honduras–Nicaragua (where Navy patrol boats painted white were deployed), Guatemala, Ecuador–Peru, Western Sahara, Angola, Kuwait, Cyprus, Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia and East Timor.
In recognition of its contributions to international security and peacekeeping, U.S. President Bill Clinton designated Argentina as a major non-NATO ally in January 1998. The country is currently the only nation in Latin America that holds this distinction.
At the United Nations, Argentina supported United States policies and proposals, among them the condemnations of Cuba on the issue of human rights, and the fight against international terrorism and narcotics trafficking. In November 1998, Argentina hosted the United Nations conference on climate change, and in October 1999 in Berlin, became one of the first nations worldwide to adopt a voluntary greenhouse gas emissions target.
Argentina also became a leading advocate of 1976 military dictatorship, Argentina scrapped the project with the return of democratic rule in 1983, and became a strong advocate of non-proliferation efforts and the peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
Since the return of democracy, Argentina has also turned into strong proponent of enhanced regional stability in South America, the country revitalized its relationship with Brazil; and during the 1990s (after signing the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 between Chile and Argentina) settled lingering border disputes with Chile; discouraged military takeovers in Ecuador and Paraguay; served with the United States, Brazil and Chile as one of the four guarantors of the Ecuador–Peru peace process. Argentina's reputation as a mediator was damaged, however, when President Menem and some members of his cabinet were accused of approving the illegal sale of weapons to Ecuador and to Croatia.
In 1998, President Menem made a state visit to the United Kingdom, and the Prince of Wales reciprocated with a visit to Argentina. In 1999, the two countries agreed to normalize travel to the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) from the mainland and resumed direct flights.
In the 1990s, Argentina was an enthusiastic supporter of the Summit of the Americas process, and chaired the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) initiative.
Within the term of President Néstor Kirchner, from 2003 onwards, Argentina suspended its policy of automatic alignment with the United States and moved closer to other Latin American countries. Argentina no longer supports the UN Commission on Human Rights resolution criticizing the "human rights situation in Cuba" and calling upon the Government of Cuba to "adhere to international human rights norms", but has chosen instead to abstain. In the 2006 United Nations Security Council election, Argentina supported, like all Mercosur countries, the candidacy of Venezuela (a Mercosur member) over Guatemala for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council.
The Mercosur has become a central part of the Argentine foreign policy, with the goal of forming a Latin American trade bloc. Argentina has chosen to form a bloc with Brazil when it comes to external negotiations, though the economic asymmetries between South America's two largest countries have produced tension at times.
Between 4 and 5 November 2005, the city of Mar del Plata hosted the Fourth Summit of the Americas. Although the themes were unemployment and poverty, most of the discussion was focused on the FTAA. The summit was a failure in this regard, but marked a clear split between the countries of the Mercosur, plus Venezuela, and the supporters of the FTAA, led by the United States, Mexico and Canada. FTAA negotiations have effectively stalled until at least the conclusion of the 2006 Doha round global trade talks.
In 2005, Argentina assumed again (see history here ) the two-year non-permanent position on the UN Security Council.
As of 2007, during Kirchner's almost four years in power, Argentina entered into 294 bilateral agreements, including 39 with Venezuela, 37 with Chile, 30 with Bolivia, 21 with Brazil, 12 with China, 10 with Germany, 9 with the United States and Italy, and 7 with Cuba, Paraguay, Spain and Russia.
Argentina claims part of Antarctica as Chile in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is awaiting demarcation as required under a 1998 treaty.
On 22 April 2009, the Argentine government submitted a claim to the United Nations (UN) for 1,700,000 square kilometres (660,000 sq mi) of ocean territory to be recognised as Argentina's Chile and the United Kingdom.
Argentina, through its Coast Guard and Navy, has been traditionally greatly involved in fishery protection in the Argentine Sea with the first major incidents tracing back to the 1960s when a destroyer fired and holed a Russian trawler and continued through recent years.
In November 2006, an Argentine judge issued an arrest warrant for former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight other ex-officials in relation to the 1994 bombing of the Jewish-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) community center in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people. Iran refused to carry out the arrest demanded by the warrant claiming it to be a "Zionist plot". As a result, President Néstor Kirchner ordered the security forces to be on the alert for incidents similar to the 1994 bombing.
Argentina has a dispute with neighboring Uruguay about two pulp mills on the Uruguay side of the shared Uruguay River near the Argentine city of Gualeguaychú. Residents of Gualeguaychú, concerned about pollution from the mills, blockaded bridges across the river in 2006. The case was brought before the International Court of Justice. No final judgement has been passed yet by the ICJ but the denial of preliminary measures in July 2006 allowed the mills to began functioning.
After democratization, a strong integration and partnership began between the two countries. In 1985 they signed the basis for the MERCOSUR, a Regional Trade Agreement. Also on the military side there has been greater rapprochement. In accordance with the friendship policy, both armies dissolved or moved major units previously located at their common border (e.g. Argentine's 7th Jungle and 3rd Motorized Infantry Brigades). Brazilian soldiers are embedded in the Argentine peacekeeping contingent at UNFICYP in Cyprus and they are working together at MINUSTAH in Haiti and, as another example of collaboration, Argentine Navy aircraft routinely operates from the Brazilian Navy carrier São Paulo.
On 7 September 2008, the President of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, traveled to Brazil where she was the guest of honor at the Independence Day celebrations and witnessed the military parade in Brasília. The following day, she held discussions with the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on a variety of bilateral issues including energy, defense and nuclear cooperation. Brazil's decision to prevent a Royal Navy ship docking in Rio de Janeiro was seen as backing Argentina over the Falklands dispute.
Argentina and Chile share the world's third-longest international border, which is 5,300 km long and runs from north to the south along the Andes mountains. During much of the 19th and the 20th century, relations between the countries chilled due to disputes over Patagonia, though in recent years relations have improved dramatically.
The United States has a positive bilateral relationship with Argentina based on many common strategic interests, including non-proliferation, counternarcotics, counter-terrorism, the fight against human trafficking, and issues of regional stability, as well as the strength of commercial ties. Argentina is a participant in the Three-Plus-One regional mechanism (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and the U.S.), which focuses on coordination of counter-terrorism policies in the tri-border region.
US$1.4 billion was traded between Argentina and Venezuela during 2008. Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner met Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in Caracas on 11 August 2009. Kirchner called it a "bilateral meeting [...] aimed at deepening our vital integration". The two presidents signed deals intended to see Venezuela import leather, machinery and poultry from Argentina, whilst a rice importation agreement was described by the Argentine President as "the biggest ever in Argentina's history". The deals were said to be worth $1.1 billion. The meeting coincided with visits to Venezuela by dozens of Argentine businessmen. Chávez signed the deals at a time of increasing tensions with Colombia over the United States usage of its military bases.
Pope John Paul II made two pastoral visits. The first was in June 1982 where he called for an end to the Falklands War. The second was in April 1987 where he lectured on morality.
See Argentina–Turkey relations
Argentina has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Buenos Aires. Argentina established diplomatic relations with Malaysia in 7 June 1967.
See Foreign relations of Australia#Argentina
The Pope appealed for a peaceful end to the Falklands issue, a plea which was mirrored in a visit to Argentina days later.
Pope John Paul II today opened the holiest week on the Roman Catholic calendar with a spectacular outdoor mass set amid the high-rise buildings of the Argentine capital.
Pope John Paul II ended an arduous six days in military-ruled Chile on Monday and opened a week's pilgrimage to civilian-governed Argentina by addressing a modest lecture on political morality to the country's leaders.
Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, Buenos Aires Province, Greater Buenos Aires
Argentina, Foreign relations of Argentina, Argentine War of Independence, Federales (Argentina), Juan Manuel de Rosas