33. Telegram 36721 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Argentina1

36721. Subject: Secretary’s Meeting With Argentine FonMin.

1. At Argentine Embassy luncheon February 12 the Secretary and Argentine FonMin Quijano discussed inter-American relations, U.S.-Argentine bilateral relations (including expropriation cases involving U.S. firms), U.S. relations with Latin America, the Secretary’s trip to Latin America, and Argentine-UK talks concerning Falkland (Malvinas) Islands (reported septel also sent to London).

2. The Secretary said the major problem in U.S. relations with Argentina is the expropriation of US firms. Unless that is resolved soon, Argentina will find itself in great trouble with our domestic legislation. Quijano said he had had a long talk with Economy Minister Mondelli just before he left Buenos Aires. He said Mondelli was optimistic that significant progress was being made to resolve the problem. Quijano said that first of all studies had to be made to determine the amount of compensation to be paid. In the case of Chase Manhattan, the decision was made and was about to be put into effect when the [Page 105] GOA decided to refer the matter to Congress for ratification. That should be completed in a few days.

3. The Secretary and Quijano agreed that aside from the expropriation cases, relations between Argentina and the US are excellent. The Secretary said we have attached great importance to Argentina. It is one of the two or three most important countries in South America. When you think of Latin America, you think of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. So we believe our relations with Argentina are of great importance and we are willing to cooperate with Argentina. The Secretary said he still expected to visit Argentina, in connection with the OAS meeting next June in Chile.

4. Quijano emphasized the importance of an ongoing dialogue between Latin America and the US. He and the Secretary agreed that the Tlatelolco meeting in February 1974 had been useful in providing a basis for a continuing exchange of views. Quijano said it is important to achieve Latin American unity in order to discuss such issues as trade, finance and technical development with the US. He said the Latin American nations would welcome US ideas on how this could be achieved. Secretary said we had faced same problem with the Europeans. They asked if we favored European unity, and when we replied that we did, they asked us to bring it about.

5. Secretary said it would be ridiculous for us to try to bring about an organization from which we would be excluded and which would then proceed to put pressure on us. He said he had supported Tlatelolco meeting, but all of the commissions that had been created as a result were used to make demands on the US. He said there must be at least a minimum of reciprocity in such matters. Quijano conceded that there must be a give and take, but repeated that Latin America is looking to us for answers. He and Secretary agreed that it might be useful to revive the spirit of Tlatelolco as a basis for resuming the dialogue. Quijano said Argentina is attempting to work within SELA to exert a moderating influence. He thought the US could work with SELA and use it in a positive way. He said the worst thing that could happen is to terminate the dialogue between Latin America and the US.

  1. Summary: At a luncheon at the Argentine Embassy, Secretary Kissinger and Foreign Minister Quijano discussed inter-American relations, bilateral relations, the Secretary’s trip to Latin America, and Argentine-U.K. talks concerning the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D760056–0788. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Bartch and approved by Rogers.