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U.S. Department of State
96/02/29 Remarks: With Argentine ForMin Di Tella on Space Coop.
Office of the Spokesman


                        Office of the Spokesman
                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                         Office of the Spokesman 
 
                         (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 
_____________________________________________________________________ 
For Immediate Release                               February 29, 1996 
 
 
                              REMARKS BY  
                SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                  AND FOREIGN MINISTER GUIDO DI TELLA 
             AT A SIGNING CEREMONY FOR SPACE COOPERATION   
                                  AND  
                           PRESS CONFERENCE 
 
                          San Martin Palace 
                       Buenos Aires, Argentina 
                           February 29, 1996 
 
 
CONRADO VAROTTO:  Foreign Minister Di Tella, Mr. Secretary,  
Ambassadors, Dr. Goldin, ladies and gentlemen.  When the specialized 
agencies of two countries have the opportunity to agree on joint 
activities, there are two different approaches: the mere expression of 
wishes, or the culmination of a process of comprehension and 
complementation begun already some time before. It is precisely this 
second aspect that characterizes the joint activity of CONAE and NASA, 
and it is the one which the agreement just signed proposes to continue.  
For CONAE, the possibility of having the space agency of the United 
States as one of its principal partners for the development of the 
national space plan, is a very important asset. Even more important is 
the agreement that we share on objectives.  The national space plan 
1995-2006 which has to be fulfilled as a matter of law, and which was 
approved by the Executive in accordance with that law has been designed 
on the following basis: Argentina is a space nation to the extent that 
it must make use of space data for its development. Argentina, because 
of its characteristics, in particular our extraordinary brain power, 
wants to be an active user.  For our country, the business of space is 
the generation of the so-called "complete space information cycles" 
designed to generate all the space information needed for a given 
application.  A "complete space information cycle" is generated making 
use of all the information that can be obtained from third parties, 
one's own actions being applied to fill the information gaps not filled 
by others, and it is designed as an investment project represents an 
effective return for the country's economy.  This rather pioneering 
approach, not very orthodox in space activity is what guides CONAE's 
activity and allows us to draw clearly the paths of cooperation.  NASA 
has been in full agreement with our point of view.  For this reason, our 
joint activities with NASA in the five avenues of action of Argentina's 
national space plan --  information systems, access to space, 
institutional development, earth infrastructure, and satellite systems -
- have been very fruitful. The opening to the exchange of knowledge and 
the quality of the development of professional relationships between 
CONAE and NASA allow us to say that they are optimal.  We cannot imagine 
them any better.  It is true that in the development of some joint 
undertakings we are having some difficulties that spring from the fact 
that, when one works on the frontiers of knowledge at times one 
encounters complex technical problems.  But we are also convinced that 
they will be overcome.  Because of all this, we can only express our 
appreciation for the help that NASA gives us in our space activity, and 
we hope that we can develop and expand it even further.  Thank you. 
 
DR. GOLDIN:  I am extremely pleased to be here on this occasion to sign 
the renewal of the framework space agreement between the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Committee on Space 
Activities (CONAE).  
 
It is an honor to join Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Di 
Tella and Dr. Varotto in reaffirming the commitment to the United States 
and Argentina to cooperate closely.  President Clinton strongly supports 
this partnership between the space agencies of our two countries.  He 
believes, as I do, that such relationships are more important than ever 
as we approach the twenty-first century. 
 
President Menem and Dr. Varotto have defined a very bold vision of 
Argentina's future in space. The agreement today calls for the United 
States and Argentina to work cooperatively to benefit the people of both 
our countries.  Under this broad agreement CONAE and NASA will enter 
into a variety of specific agreements working together in space on 
projects of importance to the people of Argentina, the United States, 
and humanity around the world.  Through space related activities, such 
as earth remote sensing, we can realistically expect to improve 
agricultural practices, improve the productivity of our forests and 
fisheries, better understand weather and climate, and provide the 
strongest possible scientific knowledge base for a well-informed 
environmental policy making.  We can hope to bring about these benefits 
because we are willing to take bold steps like we are taking today. 
 
In the five years since the signing of the cooperative agreement CONAE 
and NASA have demonstrated an ability to do business with the SAC series 
of satellites being a prime example.  A team of NASA engineers and 
scientists working with their counterparts in Argentina assisted in the 
development of the first Argentine spacecraft.  When I met with a number 
of the Argentine engineers and scientists yesterday in Bariloche I was 
told how valuable that interchange has been for the space program of 
Argentina.  It is truly a cooperative agreement.  From what I have seen 
and heard during my visit to Argentina, I feel very confident the best 
is yet to come.  Thank you very much.  
 
MODERATOR: Now we shall proceed to the signing of the agreement on 
cooperation between the government of the Argentine Republic and the 
government of the United States of America on the peaceful uses of 
nuclear energy.  Signing are the Foreign Minister of Argentina Guido Di 
Tella and the Secretary of State of the United States Warren 
Christopher.   
 
FOREIGN MINISTER DI TELLA: I want to speak very briefly about the 
agreements just signed, and then refer to this very important visit that 
we are hosting today.  The agreements we have signed were part of a 
certain concept of what technology is and how technological developments 
achieved.  Certainly they reflect a cooperative vision, a vision that 
holds that technology cannot hide behind national boundaries and develop 
independently from its connections with the rest of the world.  We do 
not believe that is the way.  Cooperation is the way, cooperation on all 
fronts.  Furthermore we believe that cooperation is possible in the 
degree that there are assurances and verification.  These agreements 
were made possible by the new nuclear policies and the new space 
policies of our country.  They open the way precisely to cooperation, 
and because they have confidence in us we can reach these agreements.  
And it is further possible to make technological development in 
Argentina reach levels that were not possible before, although we have 
to recognize that although there were regulations that restricted 
technological development, the development was extraordinary -- with 
rules that were not good.  We believe that now this development is going 
to be much more extraordinary because we have new rules and new formulas 
for cooperation that are the basis for every technological revolution.   
 
I want to make a comment on the visit of the Secretary of State.  For us 
it is extremely important, for two reasons: because he is here, and 
because he does not come every day.  Why do I appreciate that he does 
not come every day?  Because if we were in the Middle East we would be 
receiving him every week. Here, since we behave well, things are going 
well, and because really we don't give much cause for worry he comes 
only once in a while.  On the one hand I am sad to say this, because we 
would love to receive him often, but on vacation, for fishing, but for 
businesslike matters every once in a while is fine.  Because really the 
region is in good shape and our relations are fantastically good, at an 
outstanding level of achievement.  We have discussed all the many issues 
on which we agree and we have also discussed our disagreements.  Because 
between friends there are disagreements too, and some commercial issues, 
well, we have discussed them in complete clarity. I think that our 
meetings have been frankly transparent, frankly clear, frankly 
cooperative.  We know where we have to work on the small discrepancies, 
primarily commercial, and in the great areas of agreement.  Secretary 
Christopher we hope that you will come often to spend your vacations in 
Argentina and every once in a while so that we can work together when 
you are here.   
 
MODERATOR: Now we will hear the remarks of the Secretary of State of the 
United States of America, Warren Christopher. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I am delighted to join Foreign Minister Di Tella 
here in Buenos Aires,  especially so soon after our meeting only a month 
ago in Washington.  You know this is a very special day, its a day that 
only comes once every four years.  I hope that it won't be that long 
before I am back,  Mr. Minister.  I think probably we need to do better 
than every February 29th. 
 
The close consultations between our two countries certainly do reflect 
the close ties that we developed under the Foreign Minister's leadership 
and, of course, under the leadership of President Menem.  When Argentina 
chose the path of democracy twelve years ago it was an inspiring victory 
for the values that our nations now share.  With Argentina, as with so 
many other nations in Latin America, shared values have led to shared 
interests.  Shared interests have given rise to unprecedented 
cooperation in this region and around the world, from restoring 
democracy in Haiti, to keeping the peace in Bosnia, our two nations are 
forging a strong global partnership with very great benefits for our 
peoples.  I am pleased to say that we have taken several steps that will 
significantly deepen our cooperation in the areas that we are focusing 
on today. 
 
First, we have just signed a new agreement on peaceful nuclear 
cooperation.  Argentina has firmly committed to the peaceful use of 
nuclear energy by joining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, entering 
into a "safeguards" agreement under the Atomic Energy Agency and 
bringing into force the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the treaty that bans 
nuclear weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Historic steps to 
have been taken in just the last few years.  Today's agreement will pave 
the way for greater cooperation between the United States Department of 
Energy and its Argentinean counterpart. 

Second, the United States has agreed to support Argentina's entry as a 
founding member of the new Wassenaar Agreement, an arrangement that 
controls the export of conventional weapons and sensitive technologies.  
This new agreement builds on the already strong regional leadership that 
Argentina has demonstrated as the first member of the Missile Technology 
Control Regime, often called MTCR, which is the regime that Argentina is 
the first member of outside of Europe and the United States. 
 
Third, with the participation of NASA Administrator, Dan Goldin, who 
joined us here today, of course, we've just signed an agreement to 
expand our cooperation in space.  I told the Foreign Minister that NASA 
hopes to be able to launch the Argentinean SAC B Satellite later this 
year.  We had a good discussion of that and we're also looking into the 
feasibility of launching a second Argentinean satellite from the Space 
Shuttle. 
 
Fourth, I'm pleased to announce that, later this year, the United States 
will eliminate the visa requirement for Argentinean citizens traveling 
to the United States temporarily for business or pleasure.  This is a 
very important step.  Argentina is the first Latin American country to 
qualify for what we call our visa waver program.  As we implement the 
decision over the next several months, I'm confident that our commercial 
and cultural ties will deepen and strengthen even further. 
 
We discussed a number of other important issues today.  We joined in 
condemning last Saturday's shoot down of the two unarmed civilian planes 
by Cuban fighters.   We agree that it was a flagrant violation of 
international law and, as such,  is condemned by both of our countries.  
During our meeting, we consulted on how the United States and Argentina, 
as co-guarantors under the regional Rio Protocol, can help Ecuador and 
Peru reach a final settlement of their border dispute .  We reaffirmed 
our commitment to work together in the fight against terrorism and we 
discussed ways to sustain the dramatic growth of our economic ties and 
to realize the vision of the Summit of the Americas for an integrated, 
prosperous and fully democratic Western Hemisphere.  Thank you very 
much. 
 
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: 
 
ALEJANDRA MARTINEZ, Radio Continental: To the Secretary of State.  I 
would like to know if you had a chance to talk to Foreign Minister Di 
Tella about the patents issue, which seems to be still a pending issue 
between the two countries because up to now neither the Argentine 
legislators who are there nor the American companies that hold patents 
have been able to come to an agreement.  And if you are not able to talk 
about it with the Minister whether you intend to raise it in a few 
minutes when you meet with the President? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: The Foreign Minister and I had a good discussion 
of this subject today.  He said that they are continuing to work on this 
subject between the executive and legislative branches. I told him that 
when we receive further information from them we will study it very 
carefully.  The United States desires to have a satisfactory arrangement 
on this subject with the Government of Argentina and what can be said at 
this point is that we are both working on the matter in good faith and 
we hope there can be a satisfactory outcome.  We hope that the standard 
necessary to achieve a satisfactory result under our various laws and 
regulations, we hope that can be achieved.   
 
MARLENE FERNANDEZ, CNN:  For Mr. Christopher please.  First I assume 
that the fact that you decided to lift visa requirements for Argentina 
in a way is a vote of confidence on the state of the economy in 
Argentina.  I wonder if any other country in Latin America who is doing 
very well economically, like Chile for example, can expect to have the 
same treatment soon?  And the other part of my question was that Cuban 
Americans exiled to Miami are still threatening to do similar flight 
like the flight last weekend this Saturday and if the United States is 
going to do anything to prevent those flights? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: I get asked two questions, I guess I can decide 
which one I want to answer.  On the first question with respect to the 
visa waiver program, there are specific statutory requirements for the 
visa waiver pilot program.  A country has to maintain a certain level 
with respect to the fidelity of their prior applications.  Argentina has 
met that test and the United States has analyzed the data.  We feel they 
have met the test.  Our Attorney General has given permission for the 
visa waiver program.  That program might be extended to other countries 
when they have met the statutory test.  But it is a rather, almost 
mechanical situation to determine whether or not a country, based upon 
its prior visa applications and our evaluation of them have met the 
test, and I'm glad to say that Argentina has.  It's certainly a vote of 
confidence in the sense that their processes have enabled them to 
qualify.   
 
With respect to your second question, I understand the President just 
within the hour has made an announcement on that subject.  The essence 
of the announcement, as I understand it, is that the United States will 
facilitate Cuban Americans in having an appropriate memorial service in 
international waters so there can be a wreath laying, but that is going 
to be done under carefully controlled conditions so there is not a 
repetition of last Sunday's, last Saturday's tragic episode, and we are 
also seeking the cooperation of the Cuban Government to ensure that 
there is no repetition of that tragic episode.  I really refer you to 
the President's statement for further details on this subject but it is 
one that we have been working on very conscientiously with the aim of 
avoiding a repetition of that episode.   
 
RADIO RIVADAVIA:  For Minister Di Tella.  We are aware of the importance 
of Secretary Christopher's visit.  But since you've touched on 
international issues, I would like to ask your opinion regarding the 
reaffirmation today by French human rights organizations concerning your 
words about the possibility of the return of the military in connection 
with the investigation of the issue of the "disappeared."   
 
FOREIGN MINISTER DI TELLA:  I have said, and I repeat, that 
democratization in Argentina has gone through various stages.  The 
process began under the government of President Alfonsin.  At the 
beginning there was great uncertainty about the solidity of the 
democratic base.  It was not known whether the democratic process was 
going to last.  Little by little it grew stronger.  While at the 
beginning few believed that Alfonsin would finish his term, at the end 
it became clear that it was going to be achieved, as it was achieved 
under President Menem's administration.  That is what I said and what I 
repeat now. 
 
TOM LIPPMAN, Washington Post:  Thank you.  I would like to address my 
question to the Foreign Minister of Argentina please.  Sir we have heard 
a great deal in the past couple of days that we have been in your 
country about the scope of the political, economic, and military changes 
here. I wonder if you could say whether actions taken by, or policies 
adopted by the Government of the United States, have encouraged these 
processes, and if so, in what way? 
 
FOREIGN MINISTER DI TELLA:  Look, I think that our good relations with 
the United States are seen as one of the definitions of Argentina's 
international position.  Tell me with whom you walk and I'll tell you 
who you are.  We are very good friends with democratic countries, with 
countries that respect human rights, countries that respect the laws of 
the market, those that have cooperative international policies.  That 
allows us to speak for example before the OECD, as did the President, as 
a natural group of reference for us.  To the extent that we have 
strengthened our relations with all those countries of the first world, 
with some of which we have so-so or bad relations, as we had for so many 
years with the U.S., I think this has strengthened the position of 
Argentina in the world, it has given confidence, confidence to 
investors, and has greatly benefited the country. 
 
AMERICA TV:  For Secretary Christopher.  In recent comments, this 
morning, you said that Argentina's Economy Minister Dr. Cavallo was a 
hero for all of you.  This was during your visit to an American company 
whose business  apparently is going very well.  Does this mean that he 
is a hero because American interests are being well defended by this 
policy? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I think that he is a hero to the entire 
international economic community for the leadership that he has taken, 
of course under the leadership of President Menem, in ensuring that the 
economy of Argentina stays on the right path.  Last year was a difficult 
year for many emerging countries.  The uncertainty, to put it mildly, in 
Mexico affected other markets.  There was a concern here in Argentina - 
the first perhaps fifty days, fifty or sixty days of the year, were 
difficult days in Argentina.  And what I meant to say was that the 
Economics Minister under the leadership and guidance of the President 
took what in retrospect were very sound steps.  Starting after the 12th 
of March the economy began to show discipline and turned in the right 
direction.  And for that I think he deserves the credit of the 
international community.  The United States has been one of the 
beneficiaries of Argentina's very strong economy.  I met with a group of 
American businessmen for lunch today and they're voting with their 
money, that is they are making major investments in Argentina because 
they think the economy is strong, and the Finance Minister deserves 
credit in those terms and in those terms I think he is a heroic figure 
because the Argentinean economy has been strong under his leadership and 
President Menem's leadership.   
 
MELINDA LIU, NEWSWEEK:  Thank you.  I have a question for the Foreign 
Minister please.  I want to ask whether you approve of the unilateral 
use of trade related sanctions in issues that are not technically 
restricted to trade, such as the American reaction to Cuba's downing of 
two civilian aircraft, or the case of drug certification findings.  For 
example, if tomorrow Colombia is decertified in this case.  Thank you. 
 
FOREIGN MINISTER DI TELLA:  Look, the use of commercial policies -- it 
would be best if they dealt with commercial issues.  There are 
borderline cases, very delicate issues, and I think that they can be 
used, but they have to be used with great discretion and care.  I think 
that it is fundamentally the criterion, and that most measures that the 
U.S. takes are economic measures for economic problems and political 
measures for political problems.   
 
DANIEL RAFFO, Telam News Agency:  For Mr. Christopher.  Do you think, at 
the conclusion of these meetings, that the disagreements to which the 
Foreign Minister alluded are in condition to be overcome or what will be 
the treatment that from the point of view of the United States those 
issues should have.  In particular in reference to the patents issue and 
to the repeated threats of the U.S. Government of possible commercial 
reprisals against Argentina. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Let me stress that the relationship between the 
United States and Argentina is not only a very important one but a very 
broad one.  Because we are two very great countries in the same 
hemisphere, because of the size of our economies, we have a number of 
issues between us.  On the vast majority of them we have common ground 
and common thinking.  But it is only natural in countries as large and 
significant as our two countries that there would be areas of 
disagreement.  It would be quite unnatural if we did not have some 
places where we need to talk matters through.  I think the strength of 
our relationship is such that we can manage the narrow areas where we 
have disagreements.  The strength of our relationship enables us to find 
constructive and positive solutions.  Some issues will take longer than 
other issues.  Some issues have deep historical content, as that 
particular one does.  But I say that the new era in U.S. - Argentinean 
relationships is such that we can find ways through these issues and we 
don't let them fester or overcome the underlying relationship.  Indeed I 
think the underlying relationship provides the basis for the resolution 
of these sometimes difficult issues. 
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