Image © Praneeth Franklin          

Buenos Aires: Relations between India and Argentina have been established for the last seven decades. These relations can become stronger in the next few days. Argentina, which is negotiating the acquisition of TEJAS fighters from India, has also stepped up cooperation in strategic sectors like defence, mining, nuclear and lithium. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez is coming to India next week to attend the 18th G20 Summit. His visit can prove to be very important in terms of defence relations with India.

On 24 August, Argentina was added to the list of six new countries that will join the BRICS grouping that currently includes India, Russia, Brazil, China and South Africa. After the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, Fernandez said a “new landscape” was opening up for Argentina. In this context, Argentina considers India a leader of the Global South.

Lithium Diplomacy

The most important use of lithium is in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles. Lithium is also used in some non-rechargeable batteries, such as those in heart pacemakers, toys, and watches. Indian Ambassador to Argentina Dinesh Bhatia has held several important meetings in the past. These meetings are being said to be very important. A meeting was held with Fernandez at the Casa Rosada, which is the country’s government headquarters and also the President’s office.

Meetings Are Happening Continuously

Argentina regards India as a country from the South that has shown extraordinary willingness to work on the agenda of emerging economies, especially as the current G20 head. At the same time, the two countries are making tremendous progress in deepening ties and enhancing the ongoing strategic partnership. According to Argentina, India is interested in electromobility. It drives the development of essential minerals, such as lithium and copper, as well as production chains and leads in the region.

Nuclear Energy Partnership

Ambassador Bhatia of India met Mercedes Marco del Ponte, Secretary of Strategic Affairs of Argentina. During this, they had some important discussions on ongoing cooperation in strategic areas ahead of Fernandez’s visit to India. Argentina’s Commission National de Energia Atomica (CNEA) and Combustibles Nucleares Argentinos (CONUAR) have also held several meetings with Indian officials in the last month. Cooperation on nuclear medicine, space metals, radioisotopes and heavy water and many other issues were discussed in these meetings.

HAL Weapons In Much Demand

Argentina is considering replacing its helicopter fleet. It has expressed its interest to include Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and Advanced Light Helicopter (AHL) models through a productive cooperation project. India’s state-of-the-art modern fourth generation Tejas fighter aircraft is also in the running for 12 fighter jets from Buenos Aires.