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At UN, Ban's Argentina Readout Has No Good Offices, Vulture Fund LOST

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 22 -- On very little notice, Argentina's foreign minister Hector Timerman appeared on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's schedule Monday with a photo op and meeting at 12:15 pm.

  Afterward, Inner City Press followed the Argentine delegation as it traipsed from the meeting with Ban to the hall where the President of the General Assembly's offices are. Inner City Press was told that Ban had "offered his good offices."

  But the read-out issues after 5 pm on Monday does not mention this:

Date: Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 5:57 PM
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]

The Secretary-General met today with Foreign Minister Timerman. The Secretary-General congratulated Argentina on its election to the Security Council for 2013-2014 and thanked Argentina for its steadfast support for UN priorities. He welcomed the new Permanent Representative-designate of Argentina to the United Nations, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval.

The Secretary-General and Foreign Minister Timerman discussed the case of the Argentine frigate Fragata Libertad in Ghana. The Secretary-General acknowledged the concern of the Government of Argentina for the well-being of its crew members. The Secretary-General expressed the hope that both Governments will find a way to address the matter on a bilateral basis, in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which both Argentina and Ghana are parties.

  There was, of course, more than could and should have been said here. The underlying debt is one claimed by a hedge fund -- or vulture fund -- which bought up Argentina's 2000 debt and now seeks to foreclose.

  It is akin to the styrofoam cup magnate, Ken Dart, who tried to foreclose and set up his own country. It is a travesty of global economics, here reduced to a Law of the Sea tiff between Argentina and Ghana. LOST indeed. Watch this site.

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