DepSec Sherman: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you, Michelle, for kicking us off and thank you to all of the journalists for joining us here.
Just over two weeks ago, President Fernandez and President Biden met in the Oval Office for a simple but vital purpose — to reaffirm, reinforce, solidify, and strengthen the deep and enduring ties between Argentina and the United States.
These bonds are founded on a storied past — on 200 years of diplomatic relations — and rooted in a firm focus on the future, on how we can translate our shared interests and values into progress for our people and our partnership. My visit this week was intended to build on that firm foundation.
This visit took me to sites of pain. To the AMIA Jewish Community Center and the ex-ESMA museum, each of them conjuring up chilling memories of tragedy, each a clarion reminder of our commitment to justice for victims, accountability for perpetrators, and transparency about the truth.
This visit brought me to sites of pride and promise as well. I toured an exhibit showcasing the newest addition to Argentina’s World Cup trophy case. Then I spoke to students at the University of Buenos Aires about the 40th anniversary of Argentina’s return to democracy and how we can strengthen and sustain democracy in the face of economic headwinds at home, political instability in Latin America, and vast challenges worldwide.
This visit included a series of frank and productive conversations with Foreign Minister Cafiero, Energy Secretary Royon, Mining Secretary Avila, along with my meeting with Minister Massa earlier this week, on matters of both mutual concern and shared opportunity.
We discussed economic challenges here in Argentina, from inflation and poverty to debt and drought to establishing a more welcoming environment for business and investment.
We touched on regional matters, from advancing sustainable growth in South America, to combating climate change, to tackling irregular migration, to strengthening democratic governance in this hemisphere.
We highlighted our joint work around global issues and in international forums.
We underlined the necessity of countering the climate crisis and spurring the clean energy transition.
We emphasized the importance of our ongoing support to Ukraine and its sovereignty against Russia’s unprovoked aggression.
I might note, by the way, when I went to ex-ESMA Center and learned more about the children who were born there and taken away from their parents, it reminded me very profoundly of the children in Ukraine who have been taken from their parents and taken to Russia and being raised as Russian citizens. The same kind of crimes against humanity that the citizens of Argentina would probably understand quite well.
We renewed our commitments to tackling challenges wrought by the rapid pace of technological change, protecting human rights, promoting an agenda of non-proliferation, and providing for our common security.
All of this only scratches the surface. Our relationship is dynamic, deep, and wide-ranging. So, too, is our policy agenda.
Here’s the bottom line: together, the United States and Argentina can help feed and fuel the world, and our nations will remain essential leaders in the Americas and beyond on the biggest questions of our time.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to your questions.