16 août 2018 | International, Aérospatial

Mattis says US will work more closely with Argentina


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The U.S. and Argentinian militaries will pursue closer cooperation on numerous fronts, including military education and training, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday after meeting with his counterpart during the first visit to Argentina by an American defense chief in 13 years.

"We focused on what we can do working together as they go through very difficult economic times," Mattis told reporters as he was departing Buenos Aires for a flight to Santiago, Chile. "Both sides are very open to a stronger military-to-military relationship in complete transparency, so there cannot be any doubt about what's going on."

Before they met, Mattis and Argentinian Defense Minister Oscar Aguad publicly expressed their hope for better ties. Mattis alluded to the help the U.S. Navy provided Argentina last November when one of its submarines went missing with 44 sailors aboard.

The last U.S. secretary of defense to visit Argentina was Donald H. Rumsfeld in 2005.