U.S. President Barack Obama and Argentina's President Mauricio Macri began talks on Wednesday aimed at resetting diplomatic relations and strengthening trade ties after years of sour relations between Washington and Buenos Aires. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (No reporter narration) STORY: Obama's two-day visit to Argentina marks a rapprochement after years of sour relations and is a sign of support for Macri's investor-friendly reforms aimed at opening up Latin America's No. 3 economy. The visit comes as once high-flying leftist governments in the region face corruption scandals and economic weakness. The U.S. leader is holding talks with Macri ahead of a joint press conference. "It will mark a 180 degree turn in relations between Argentina and the United States," local newspaper Clarin said in a headline. Obama will also lay a wreath at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral and meet young entrepreneurs before attending a state dinner. In his first 100 days in office, Macri lifted capital and trade controls, slashed bloated power subsidies and cut a debt deal with "holdout" creditors in the United States. U.S. officials say Obama has been impressed by the pace of reform. Luring foreign investors is a cornerstone of his strategy to revive the economy, and Obama arrives with a large business delegation in tow. Left-wing political parties have promised protests during Obama's visit, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the coup on March 24, 1976, that installed the "dirty war" military junta. The United States initially backed the dictatorship, which killed up to 30,000 people in a crackdown against Marxist rebels, labor unions and leftist opponents. The United States announced last week it would declassify documents from U.S. military and intelligence agencies related to the dictatorship, a move aimed at soothing criticism over the timing of the trip. Obama will also honor the victims of the dictatorship on Thursday before flying to Patagonia.