A diplomatic dispute has erupted between the United States and Argentina over Argentine allegations that the U.S. military flew undeclared weapons, drugs and other items into the South American country last Thursday.
Officials in Buenos Aires say a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane was searched and its cargo seized at Ezeiza International Airport after arriving with material for a police training exercise. They are quoted as saying authorities seized sensitive material that had not been declared in a manifest provided by the U.S. Embassy.
Buenos Aires has said it will file an official protest in Washington, while an Argentine judge has demanded a full accounting of what was in the plane.
State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley says the United States is puzzled and disturbed by the actions of the Argentine officials. Crowley described the search of the plane as unusual and unannounced. He said the matter could have been resolved on the ground by customs officials. The spokesman called on the Argentine government to return the U.S. equipment.
The incident comes as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to travel next month to Latin America. Argentina is not on the list of countries he will visit. Obama is scheduled to travel to El Salvador, Brazil and Chile.