Interview with Honorable Rodolfo J. Martin-Saravia Ambassador of Argentina in Pakistan

Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

1. What is your view point on the issue of NPT?

There are currently 439 nuclear power reactors in operation in 30 countries. These reactors supply just over 15% of the world’s electricity. Argentina, is conducting a national assessment to consider adding nuclear capacity between 2010 and 2025. For many years, Argentina has been a strong and supportive partner of the IAEA. On the non-proliferation front, Argentina is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In the field of nuclear and radiation safety, Argentina is a party to all of the safety related conventions. Argentina has also become a leader in research reactor development, as seen in the sale of the 20 megawatt OPAL reactor that came online last year in Australia, as well as research reactors sold earlier to Algeria, Egypt and Peru. And Argentina’s technological leadership has been particularly noteworthy in the conversion of research reactors to use low enriched uranium, thereby reducing proliferation risk. I would note with appreciation that Argentina is the first country in the world to fully convert its domestic production of molybdenum 99 to use LEU targets.

2. Would you please tell us salient features of yours country’s foreign policy? Furthermore what are your official regional policy objectives too?

Advocate the opening of the country to the world in a realistic manner, in a framework of deepening regional integration in particular through MERCOSUR applying flexible negotiating criteria, in accordance with the international circumstantial context, with the objective of strongly reestablishing the credibility, trust, and foresight of our country.-

The main objectives of the Argentina Foreign Policy today are:-

a. The recover of our Malvinas Islands and the adjacent islands
b. De Defence of Human Rights
c. The strengthening of the Mercosur Trade Regional Organization
d. De defense of the Environment
e. The fight against terrorism
f. Energy
g. How to control the International organized crime
h. Migrations

3. What is your official stance about Malvinas Islands?

The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands is a territory in the Atlantic Ocean located at 800 km of the Argentina cost and more than 10000 kilometers from United Kingdom. Those Islands have been kept under control of the British Government ever since 1833 when they arrive to Port Argentina and by the use of force they surrended the local Argentina Government and the small garrison and expel them from the islands. Since that time and for more than 150 years regardless of their political color or ideology Argentina governments have been trying to recover the Islands through peaceful and diplomatic means. Unfortunately we have not succeeded and the military government in 1982 tried to recover the Islands by the use of force during the Malvinas War.

After the war, Democracy was again reinstall in my country and since then, all the successive administrations made huge efforts to negotiate with London the reoccupation of those territories that without any doubt they belong to Argentina. Almost the whole International Community agrees with that and gives us their support.

4. How you rate your diplomatic ties and socio-economic relations with other Latin American countries?

Argentina enjoys friendly relations with all the regional countries of Latin America. We share the world’s third-longest international border of 5,300 km long that runs from north to the south along the Andes Mountains between Argentina and Chile. Argentina and Brazil are also neighbouring countries, and two of the most important economies in the Continent. In addition Argentina has common borders with Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay and excellent bilateral relations with all of them. We are seriously working for the regional economic integration in Latin

5. How you evaluate your ties with USA. What are the crucial issues between the two countries?

The U.S. has a positive bilateral relationship with Argentina based on many common strategic interests, including non-proliferation, strengthening of Democracy counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and issues of regional stability, as well as the strength of commercial ties. Argentina and the United States often vote together in the United Nations and other multilateral fora.

Argentine-U.S cooperation also includes science and technology initiatives in the fields of space, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the environment. In June 2007, the U.S. and Argentina modernized a bilateral civil aviation agreement to update safety and security safeguards and allow a significant increase in flight frequencies between the two countries, which hold excellent potential for increased tourism and business travel. An active media, together with widespread interest in American culture and society, make Argentina a receptive environment for the information and cultural exchange work of the U.S.

6. What are the nature of relations between Argentina and United Nations?

Argentina has participated in many multilateral force deployments mandated by the United Nations Security Council, including recent missions to Haiti and the former Yugoslavia. I could say that Argentina and Pakistan are the most active countries in the participation of UN peace keeping forces around the world.

7. What is your view about the drugs smuggling in Latin America?

The drug trade is a big problem we all share and one whose ultimate solution we must devise together. Joint and giant efforts are needed to eradicate this serious problem from our continent as well as from Asia.

8. China’s growing presence and interests have changed the regional dynamics of Latin America. How you evaluate the Chinese’s Latin American strategic partnership with many regional countries?

The world’s most populous nation is rapidly forming trade, investment, technology, security, and cultural ties with developing nations around the globe and in particular with Latin America. Latin America has pursued new connections around the globe. China invests with no conditions. The links between China and Latin America are lopsided in many ways, with exports and imports of commodities and aid largely flowing in one-way direction.

Likewise many Latin America countries had started a firm policy to encourage the learning of Chinese language as to help to promote trade between those countries and China. The increasing ties influence and expectations that China offers, has been taken very seriously by countries like Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Latin American countries also embrace China as part of their new multidirectional diplomacy. This diversified diplomacy has introduced a new set of relationships in world affairs, and China’s rapid rise in these regions has made Beijing a truly global actor, if not a global power.

China’s main exports are computers, telecommunication equipments, clothing, shoes, electronics, motorcycles and cars, while most imports are in raw material commodities – iron ore, copper, tin, tungsten, molybdenum, aluminum, nickel but also agricultural goods wheat corn, rice, sorgho etc. China also builds roads, rail lines, refineries and ports. Science and technology agreements with 13 Latin states have stimulated more than 100 cooperative research projects in agro-, bio and information technology. The most significant is an earth-resources satellite project with Brazil, with three satellites launched to date.

9. What is the significance of Banco del Sur or the Bank of the South?

Latin American leaders launched the Bank of the South at a ceremony in Buenos Aires on Dec. 9, 2007. The bank will support regional development in order to wean the region of institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The Bank of the South will allow participating governments to use a percentage of their collective currency reserves to strengthen Latin America’s economy and promote cooperative development. The plan of this Bank was to start lending money from the year 2008 with around $7 billion in capital. The bank is “aimed at freeing us from the chains of dependence and underdevelopment.” The bank of the “South American nations aims to be able to put an end to their political and financial dependence that they have had with the neoliberal model.”

We hope that with the money of Venezuela and the political will of Argentina and Brazil, this bank will have lots of money and a different political approach.

10. What is your opinion about the terrorism? How distrust between Islam and the West can be minimized?

Terrorism is a global phenomenon. It speeded after the horrible episode of 9/11 which brought new concepts, ideologies, views and ideas throughout the world. Afterwards, the levels of trust-deficit became widened between the West and Islamic World. Better understanding, spirits of tolerance, forgiveness, decency, better education, and enhanced social & cultural connectivity may be useful to minimize the widening gap of distrust and disbelief between the West and the Islamic world.

Terrorism is against the basic injunctions of civility, democracy, and above all international brotherhood and politics. Diplomacy can provide alternative solution to resolve all the conflicting problems in the world.

11. What is the future of WTO and international trade system?

Ours is the age of free trade and WTO has provided the mechanism of free trade. Complete success or execution of free trade is based on the elimination of tariffs systems institutionalized differently in different countries. The phasing-out of additional tariffs mechanism is also necessary for the free trade which ultimately will put an end to economic protectionism which is against the basic spirits of free trade regime. Success of ongoing WTO ministerial talks is must for the survival of WTO and the world trade system. Moreover, doctrines of economic protectionism should be discouraged. One very important issue is this respect is that of eliminating the policy of subsidy that many countries offers to their products. This policy harms the trade and discourages the fair and transparent exchange of goods among the countries, specially between develop and undeveloped

12. What are the qualities of a successful diplomat? Furthermore, what are the duties of a diplomat?

A successful Ambassador must be knowledgeable, well conversant with two or three international languages with addition to his native language. He must be good and effective speaker. He should have knowledge of economics, politics, diplomacy, philosophy, comparative studies and last but not the least, history, so that he could easily interact with the vast range of officials and people alike. The first and foremost duty of diplomacy is to remove all the misconceptions about his native country and mistrust about his society and people too.

13. How misperceptions between the two countries can be eliminated?

Both the countries do not have any misperceptions. But the people-to-people interaction, dialogue, mutual understanding, student exchange programs, business community contacts, politicians and press meetings can be beneficial to remove the misconceptions about Pakistan and will further enhance your national drive of soft image.

5 thoughts on “Interview with Honorable Rodolfo J. Martin-Saravia Ambassador of Argentina in Pakistan”

  1. Excellent interview very informative.
    Such regular appeareance of Argentina in the news
    would certainly increase the knowledge about the Argentina.
    Must encourage both countries to come closer as technology of Argentina is very good.As Pakistan is using CNG equipments in cars.
    Best regards.

  2. Thanks to honorable Ambassador of Argentina in Pakistan for the kind words. I take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador and the people of Argentine on the occasion of National Day of the Republic of Argentine.

    Dear Mehmood ul Hassan Khan sahib
    Thank you very much for publishing such unique articles and interviews at Overseas Pakistani Friends website. In fact it is you who deserves the real appreciation.

  3. Dear Editor

    I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Mehmood-Ul-Hassan and to the editor of this web page for publishing the special supplement on dated 5th and 12th May on the occasion of National Day of the Republic of Argentine that falls on May 25.

    I really appreciate your initiative of making Pakistani readers more informed through your online webpage of Overseas Pakistani Friends about my country and people, and this nice gesture truly represents the cordial and friendly feelings that the people of Pakistan have for Argentina.

    Rodolfo J. Martin Saravia
    Ambassador of Argentina Republic

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