Argentine Economy Minister Martín Guzmán stepped ahead from President Alberto Fernández's European tour and flew to Rome Wednesday to meet with International Monetary Fund Deputy Director for the Western Hemisphere Julie Kozak.
After this encounter, it is believed that Fernández will indeed meet with IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva this coming Friday in Rome, where the Argentine leader is also to hold encounters with Italian authorities and with Pope Francis.
Argentina needs to renegotiate a US $44 billion debt from the previous administration of President Mauricio Macri.
The Guzmán-Kozak meeting lasted almost two hours. They have known each other from the times when Guzmán was appointed by Fernández and Kozak was set to replace Alejandro Werner, the IMF agent involved in Macri's borrowing and who had resigned weeks before.
A panel on debt sustainability is to be featured within the Economy seminar organized by the Vatican, which will be attended, among others, by Georgieva, Guzmán, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, and Economy Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, who is said to be Guzmán's mentor.
Due to agenda issues, Guzmán has not yet met in person with Stiglitz, but they did make contact via chat end email, it was reported. And Stiglitz's personal connections with Yellen date back to when he and George Akerlof, Yellen's husband, won together with the Nobel Prize in 2001.
According to Argentine sources, the meeting between Fernández and Georgieva will take place on Friday morning, before the seminar at the Vatican.
Guzmán will Thursday rejoin Fernández to a working lunch with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and to a meeting with Prime Minister Mario Draghi. But later on, it is expected Guzmán might have a second meeting with Kozak to finalize the details of what would be the President's first-ever encounter with Georgieva.