Argentina to US senators: Show a little respect

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Associated Press

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 1:37 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina reacted angrily Friday to comments by U.S. senators who challenged President Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to the South American country.

Foreign Minister Hector Timerman called Sens. Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez "extremists" who don't represent the will of the Senate, the U.S. government or the American people.

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich says both senators should show more respect.

Both senators disagreed Thursday with nominee Noah Mamet's statement that Argentina is a mature democracy and an ally, and suggested that the U.S. needs a more experienced diplomat in Buenos Aires.

"There is a very high likelihood that if you are confirmed, while you are in that post, you are going to have another similar collapse in Argentina to what you saw economically just a decade ago," Rubio, a Republican, warned.

Argentine officials reacted angrily to the criticism, without mentioning what the senators said about the South American nation's economic woes.

Rubio and Menendez "are widely criticized for their extreme positions," Timerman said, calling them ideologically opposed not only to many of Argentina's priorities, but also to those of their own American citizens.

"In Argentina, the citizens and residents enjoy full democracy and social inclusion," Capitanich said. "So what I would like to communicate to this Republican legislator is that he have respect for the offices that each of us have, just as we have respect for the United States."

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