The US government reiterated on Tuesday that the International Court of Justice in The Hague “is not the appropriate venue” for addressing Argentina's debt issues and again called on the government of President Cristina Fernandez to engage with its creditors.
Tuesday's statement from a US Department of State spokesperson on request from the Buenos Aires media followed a morning press conference in which top government officials discussed Argentina’s legal action against the US at the Hague and the fact that the US government had not yet officially replied, a diplomatic gesture contrary to the international community norms of peaceful coexistence.
Over a week ago Argentina announced it was taking the US government to the International Court of Justice because the US had committed violations of Argentine sovereignty and immunities and other related violations as a result of judicial decisions adopted by US tribunals concerning the restructuring of the Argentine public debt.
Under International Court of Justice terms both sides have to agree to forward the litigation. The US Department position is that tradition indicates that when there is no official comment, it is understood that the reply is negative.
“In what we consider as a diplomatic gesture contrary to the international community norms of peaceful coexistence, the US has not yet answered (…) whether it accepts The Hague's jurisdiction to resolve on the violations to Argentine sovereignty,” foreign minister Hector Timerman said sitting next to Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Legal Adviser Susana Ruiz Cerrutti.
Timerman reiterated the government’s claims that US Judge Thomas Griesa’s ruling on Argentina’s legal battle against its holdout creditors entails a “direct violation to Argentine sovereignty.”
Ruiz Cerrutti made a historical overview of Argentina's legal battle against the holdouts, saying it all started in 2004, when Argentina asked Judge Griesa to interpret the pari passu clause, before it began its debt restructuring process. She pointed out that at that time the NML fund opposed saying it was untimely.
”Eight years later, Griesa decides to rule over the pari passu clause (...) and eight years later what Argentina had demanded takes place, she added.
The Foreign ministry Legal Adviser said that if The Hague ruled that Griesa's decision was illegal, the judge's ruling could be revoked.
Cabinet Chief Capitanich in turn reiterated that the Argentine government’s decision to take its claims to the International Court is a result of the US Judiciary “violation of Argentina’s immunity and sovereignty.”
“Argentina will continue to demand the US to respect its sovereign rights, and will continue to pay its debts without interferences that violate international law.”
Buenos Aires has asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to take action against the US over its sovereign debt. The Argentine government said in its application to the court that the US had committed violations of Argentine sovereignty and immunities and other related violations as a result of judicial decisions adopted by US tribunals