In recent years, Argentina has had a strong partnership with the United States. Argentina was the only Latin American country to participate in the Gulf War and all phases of the Haiti operation. It has contributed to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide, with Argentine soldiers and police serving in Guatemala, Ecuador-Peru, Western Sahara, Angola, Cyprus, Kosovo, Bosnia, and East Timor. In recognition of its contributions to international security and peacekeeping, the U.S. Government designated Argentina as a major non-NATO ally in January 1998. Argentina has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Summit of the Americas process, and currently chairs the Free Trade of the Americas initiative leading to the Buenos Aires Ministerial in April 2001. At the UN, Argentina is a close U.S. collaborator, supporting the U.S. campaign to improve human rights in Cuba and the fight against international terrorism and narcotics trafficking. In November 1998, Argentina hosted the United Nations conference on climate change, and in October 1999 in Berlin, became one of the first nations worldwide to adopt a voluntary greenhouse-gas emissions target.

Eager for closer ties to industrialized nations, Argentina left the Non-Aligned Movement in the early 1990s and has pursued a relationship with the OECD. It has become a leading advocate of nonproliferation efforts worldwide. A strong proponent of enhanced regional stability in South America, Argentina has revitalized its relationship with Brazil; settled lingering border disputes with Chile; discouraged military takeovers in Ecuador and Paraguay; served with the U.S., Brazil, and Chile as one of the four guarantors of the Ecuador-Peru peace process; and restored diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. In 1998, President Menem made a state visit to the U.K., and Prince Charles reciprocated with a visit to Argentina. In 1999, the two countries agreed to normalize travel to the Falklands/Malvinas Islands from the mainland and resumed direct flights.

Disputes - international: claims UK-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); claims UK-administered South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claim in Antarctica

Illicit drugs: increasing use as a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe and the US; increasing use as a money-laundering center; domestic consumption of drugs has skyrocketed


Much of the material in this article comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.