Argentine Foreign minister Hector Timerman began Monday morning his round of contacts in New York to lobby for the release of the Navy’s training frigate retained in Ghana but suffered a first setback when he met with the president of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Gert Rosenthal.
“We had a very interesting discussion on the incident. I told the Foreign Minister that he and I know that the Security Council’s business is keeping world peace and security and this case does not precisely endanger world peace”, said Ambassador Rosenthal from Guatemala the rotating president of the Security Council.
However, “said this, if the incident involves complying with international law, it is an issue of great concern, not so much as for the Security council as for the country member of the UN. Clearly there is an international law problem which affects Argentina, but also the rest of the planet’s countries”
Previously Timerman had requested ambassador Rosenthal, as president of the Security Council “to circulate among its members documents brought by Argentina so that the Council is aware of the situation of ARA Libertad, which from an international law point of view is completely illegal”.
Later in the day Minister Timerman was scheduled to meet with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the president from the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremik. Timerman is making the contacts alongside Argentine Ambassador to the US Jorge Argüello, Deputy Foreign minister Eduardo Zuian and the recently nominated permanent representative to the UN, María Cristina Perceval.
From Buenos Aires President Cristina Fernandez’ Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina came on stage to warn that “vulture funds will never see Argentina kneeled down before their decisions”, in a straight message to US-based fund that has the Libertad navy training frigate impounded and retained in Ghana.
During an international seminar held at the University of Buenos Aires’ Economics School, the official told reporters that “President Cristina Fernández was already very clear about it when she said that we are not going to accept any blackmailing from vulture funds.”
The investment fund whose suit in Ghana was successful in detaining the ship, is NML Capital Limited, of Elliot Management, and alleges it is owed a total of 370 million dollars, for defaulted bonds from the 2001 crisis. These bonds remained unpaid after the bondholders rejected two bond-swaps offered by the government in 2005 and 2010.
Meanwhile the Foreign ministry also announced that most of the crew will be flown back to Buenos Aires in a chartered aircraft scheduled to arrive Wednesday night. The idea of sending an Argentine Air Force plane for the crew was discarded fearing the same fate as ARA Libertad. Apparently Chile and Brazil, who have cadets among the crew of the retained vessel, were prepared to fly the crew back home.