Argentina’s Foreign Relations Minister Writes to John Kerry and Avigdor Lieberman

This week, Argentina’s Foreign Relations Minister Héctor Timerman sent letters to Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel’s Foreign Relations Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

This is the original letter in Spanish sent to Secretary Kerry:

Nota de Héctor Timerman a John Kerry by INFOnews

Here is the unofficial English translation:

Letter1

Letter2

This is letter sent to Lieberman:

Nota de Timerman a Lieberman by INFOnews

This is the English translation:

IsLetter1

ISLetter2

Much of the media coverage has focused on Timerman’s insistence that Secretary Kerry should include the 1994 bombing of Buenos Aires’ AMIA building in his nuclear negotiations with Iran. This is a request that appears early in his letter to Kerry:

On this subject I can only reiterate the position of my government 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 the 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.

As much of the media has emphasized, the letters do insist that the US should bring up the AMIA case in its negotiations with Iran. But, as other Argentinean journals have also insisted, the letters are also an indictment on the use of Argentina as a space to fight the wars of others.

The Argentine people suffered State terrorism between 1976 and 1983. Thousands of Argentines were persecuted, tortured, murdered and disappeared. Even today we don’t know the whereabouts of more than 400 children born in captivity and appropriated by the dictators and their cronies. However, there was no single case of revenge. The Government, together with the Legislature, made if possible for the Judicial Power to work through judges and the laws of our Constitution, enjoying fully all rights and guarantees enshrined therein, in particular the due process and the fundamental principle of right of defense. No repressor died in Argentina or in another country because of a bomb 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 stuck 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.

Argentina has been and will remain a land of redemption for millions of people who were persecuted in their home countries. Everyone who came to our country during all democratic governments got the opportunity to integrate and 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 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 does not have to tolerate, much less to suffer that our country become 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.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina I believe it is important to request that the diplomatic staff accredited in our country observe the rules stipulated by the Vienna Convention and our local laws in cases not governed by the said international agreement, in particular on non-interference in the internal affairs in the jurisdictions they serve.

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