Foreign Minister Hector Timerman held a press conference to inform Argentina was addressing a letter to both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman reaffirming Argentina’s “peaceful” stance in the resolution of conflicts, reiterating also its calls to have the AMIA case negotiations “included” in current talks between Washington and Tehran.
“Argentina is concerned about the differences between your government and the State of Israel on the negotiations to conclude an agreement to reduce tensions over nuclear issues between the permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the message starts, adding the Cristina Fernández administration reiterates its position “to support the peaceful resolution of conflicts based on negotiations between the involved parties”.
“Argentina, it should be recalled, regrets that your government has not accepted our request that the cause of the terrorist attack on the headquarters of the Mutual Jewish Community Center (AMIA) be included in negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran as we have requested in writing the same day that the negotiations, until then secret, became public. Today, I am asking you again that the AMIA issue be included in the negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
In another part of the message, Timerman questioned the performance of Argentina’s own judiciary saying it has not been able to detain, judge or condemn the perpetrators” of the AMIA bombing that claimed the lives of 85 people almost 21 years ago. The minister also hits at the Supreme Court saying the country’s top tribunal has failed in making any progress in the investigation into the attack against the embassy of Israel in Buenos Aires City that took place in 1992.
“It is also important to remember the first international terrorism attack conducted in the Republic Argentina, the explosion of the Embassy of Israel in which 29 people were assassinated. In this case, by diplomatic laws in force, the Supreme Court is responsible for the investigation, and for years it has not made public any report on any action or progress in the investigation.
Ratifying recent statements by President Cristina Fernández calling on Argentines not to allow foreign interests to intervene in the country’s affairs, Timerman said Argentina has ”no strategic, no military, no intelligence and no espionage interest in the Middle East.”
“We oppose, on political and moral grounds, to any act that promotes violence or violation of sovereignty both in an open or cover way. Argentina feels obliged to reiterate that our territory should not be used for purposes of geopolitical and military interests of third countries.”
In that sense, the Foreign Minister pointed out that since the return to democracy Argentina has resolved crimes against humanity in court, putting the military who committed human rights violation on the dock.
“No repressor died in Argentina or in another country because of a bomb exploded under his car, or by a missile aimed at his home or by military intervention, in any action decided by the state. The Argentine government does not kidnap people and moves them to secret prisons or detention camps, either. Simply, we are committed to comply with the laws of our country and with international laws on human rights.”
“Argentina is greatly concerned about the increasing frequency with which many countries are used as scenarios in which other states get involved to define disputes according to their own geopolitical interests. We are also concerned to see how propaganda mechanisms are used overtly or covertly for such purposes. My country rejects such acts and we don’t want them to happen in our territory.”
Furthermore, Mr. Timerman assured Argentina “has been and will remain a land of redemption for millions of people who were persecuted in their home countries,” getting here the opportunity to “progress.” “More importantly, they had the ability to live freely without being persecuted by their origin, ethnicity or religion.”
“In my meetings with the leaders of these (religious) communities, I always reiterated them the firm position of my government to prevent that historical clashes that take place in their country of origin be settled in Argentina. The Argentine people do not have to tolerate, much less to suffer, that our country becomes a theater of political operations, intelligence, or worse, a theater of events and more severe actions, conflicts that are completely unrelated to our history, our idiosyncrasy and our way of life.”
The letter to Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lieberman will be handed in to the ambassadors of the United States and Israel to Argentina, Noah Mamet and Dorit Shavit.
Meanwhile, in Washington, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she was not aware of any plans to raise the AMIA issue in the negotiations with Iran.
The State Department's Psaki said the United States and the international community had helped Argentina with the investigation into the AMIA bombing.
The special prosecutor's death must not stop the pursuit of those responsible for this brutal terrorist attack, she said. We have contributed information where we can, in the past, and that will continue, Psaki underlined.