Argentinian Foreign Minister in Vienna

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: September 27, 2022; 23:04 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Argentine Foreign Minister, Santiago Andrés Cafiero, who is currently attending the 66th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to strengthen Argentina's relations with the Agency, met with Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. The exchange focused on the expansion of bilateral relations, as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its global implications.

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg received his Argentine counterpart Santiago Andres Cafiero in Vienna. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

During the conversation, Foreign Minister Schallenberg thanked his counterpart for Argentina's high-level participation in the IAEA General Conference. In doing so, he underscored the important role of the Vienna-based organization in the context of Russian attacks on the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya as well as nuclear threatening gestures by the Russian Federation. In this context, special mention was also made of Rafael Mariano Grossi of Argentina, who, as the current Director General of the IAEA, is playing a leading role in restoring the safety of Ukraine's nuclear power plants.

Likewise, Foreign Minister Schallenberg also welcomed Argentina's clear stance and strong condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Thus, Argentina has joined the overwhelming majority of the international community in condemning the Russian invasion in the framework of the United Nations General Assembly. In this regard, Foreign Minister Schallenberg appealed to build on this step and contribute to ending this war as soon as possible.

In addition, the possibilities for intensifying economic relations between Austria and Argentina were also a central topic of discussion. Argentina, for example, is Austria's third-largest trading partner in Latin America and continues to offer great potential for Austrian companies. Especially in the field of renewable energies, such as water and wind power, but also hydrogen, domestic companies offer enormous know-how. In addition, domestic companies are leaders in the timber industry and can thus become an important strategic partner for Argentina.

Finally, the two foreign ministers also spoke about the strong emotional bond between the two countries, which is due to the approximately 30,000 direct descendants of persecutees of the Nazi regime living in Argentina. Since an amendment to the Citizenship Act in September 2020, they too have the opportunity to obtain Austrian citizenship.

Argentina strengthens relations with the IAEA

Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero signed the CELAC-IAEA Action Plan with the organization's Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, during the 66th General Conference of this organization in Vienna, Austria.

As part of this framework, the Government of Argentina presented the basic guidelines for the CELAC-IAEA Action Plan. The plan aims to develop nuclear capabilities in fields such as healthcare, food safety, agriculture, radiological technology, nuclear education, radiation safety and protection, environmental applications and energy, as well as nuclear technology with peaceful applications for the "Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States" according to Foreign Ministry of Argentina.

Cafiero stressed that the region's opportunities are many, "but they all require cooperation to fully develop." In this regard, according to Cafiero, "integration is not an ideological issue, but a necessity."

"I know our needs well, but also our opportunities. I also know that our region, our countries, in their individuality, need this commitment to find in the Organization the instrument that will make them better off," Grossi stressed.

With this new instrument, Argentina and the Authority aim to establish peaceful cooperation strategies in nuclear science and technology in South America to strengthen regional infrastructure and national capacity building that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs

Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Trade and Worship