Argentina's Kirchner launches new attack on US

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner warns the United States of "grave implications" amid claims a US official is lobbying for a group representing the so-called "vulture funds" being contested by Buenos Aires (AFP Photo/Juan Mabromata)

Buenos Aires (AFP) - Argentine President Cristina Kirchner warned the United States of "grave implications" amid claims a US official is lobbying for a group representing the so-called "vulture funds" being contested by Buenos Aires.

Kirchner said Nancy Soderberg, who heads the Public Interest Declassification Board advisory committee that promotes access to national security archives, is also the co-chair of the American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), an organization "specifically created to attack and slander the Argentine Republic and its president."

"If confirmed by you, (this) would have grave implications for relations between our two countries," Kirchner wrote in a letter to US President Barack Obama.

"As you are certainly aware, the functions of the PIDB encompass sensitive issues of national security and include giving advice to the president and to other US executive branch officials."

Kirchner posted her latest attack against the US on Twitter. She claims the ATFA takes money from a group that manages a "vulture fund."

Her letter comes as Argentina, Latin America's third-largest economy, struggles to get back on track with deals to restructure the debt it defaulted on during its 2001 crisis.

A US court has ordered Buenos Aires to halt interest payments to creditors who agreed to take steep losses until it settles a $1.3 billion dispute with the "holdout" hedge funds refusing to accept a write-down.

Two of those groups -- NML Capital and Aurelius Capital Management -- stand to make huge profits, earning them the label "vulture funds" from Buenos Aires.

Argentina argues that paying the hedge funds in full would trigger a flood of claims from other creditors under the Rights Upon Future Offers, or RUFO clause, putting it on the hook for up to $120 billion.