Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ARGENTINA | 21-03-2024 13:03

CIA chief William Burns travels to Argentina for meetings

Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse meets with the head of the US intelligence services at the Casa Rosada; CIA head latest in a long list of officials from Washington to visit Buenos Aires since President Javier Milei took office.

William Burns, the director of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency of the United States), arrived in Argentina on Wednesday for meetings with government officials in Buenos Aires.

Arriving from Brazil, where he met with government officials in Brasília, the CIA chief was expected to stay two days in Argentina’s capital, though his itinerary was not released to the public. 

Government sources confirmed that Burns, the head of the United States’ intelligence services, met Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse at the Casa Rosada on Wednesday. No public confirmation of the encounter was provided.

The meeting was also attended by the head of Argentina’s own intelligence services, the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI), Silvestre Sívori, and US ambassador to Argentina, Marc Stanley.

Various topics were discussed by the officials, from bilateral cooperation and the progressive penetration of China in Latin America to recent cyber-attacks carried out from Russia, reported Noticias Argentinas.

According to the news agency, Washington has been closely monitoring criminal drug organisations active in Argentina and is concerned about their links to terrorist cells deployed in the Triple Frontier area that answer to the Islamic group Hezbollah.

Burns is the latest top official to travel to Buenos Aires since President Javier Milei was sworn-in as head of state last December. The visit of the CIA director comes just weeks after the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Chief of United States Southern Command Laura Jane Richardson is due to visit the country in April to assist with Argentina's purchase to US F-16 fighter jets through the Danish government. 

Since his inauguration, Milei has notably shifted Argentina’s foreign policy, aligning himself with the United States and Israel, among others.

In recent public remarks, Burns has expressed concerns over the ongoing crisis in the Middle East and said that he believes that the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 marked a turning point in the reconfiguration of forces internationally and brought the post-Cold War period to an end. 

Wednesday's meeting was not the first between Posse and Burns. The duo first encountered each other last January 31, when Argentina’s Cabinet chief travelled to Washington and they spent more than an hour in talks.

Rumours that Burns would meet with Milei during his stay in Buenos Aires were unable to be confirmed by press time.



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