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Still no deal between Argentina, debt holdouts

New York Lawyer Daniel Pollack leaves US District Court after a hearing on Argentina's debt default, June 27, 2014 in New York
New York Lawyer Daniel Pollack leaves US District Court after a hearing on Argentina's debt default, June 27, 2014 in New York

Argentine officials and holdout bondholders met separately with a US court-appointed mediator in New York but failed to clinch a deal to resolve a dispute that could trigger a default by Buenos Aires.

With the clock ticking toward a July 30 deadline, Argentina needs to reach an agreement on paying more than $1.3 billion claimed by hedge funds, mainly NML Capital and Aurelius Management, which refused to join other bondholders in the 2005-2010 restructuring of the country's defaulted debt.

"The parties, including representatives of the Republic of Argentina and representatives of the bondholders, together with their respective lawyers, came to see me this afternoon," said attorney Daniel Pollack, appointed by US District Judge Thomas Griesa to break the impasse.

"They each presented their positions to me, but not in the presence of the other side. No resolution has been reached. It is my hope that there will be future dialogue," he added in a statement.

Argentina sent to the meeting a team of three senior officials from the Economy Ministry, in addition to members of its legal representatives in New York.

"The Argentine Republic is willing to continue with a dialogue that allows reaching a solution in fair, equitable and legal conditions for 100 percent of the bondholders," the Economy Ministry said in a statement.

"In that regard, Argentina expressed to the special master (Pollack) that it is crucial that the judge issues a stay, taking into account the magnitude of the amounts involved."

In a notice published in major Argentine newspapers Friday, President Cristina Kirchner's government accused the hedge funds and Judge Griesa of wanting to drag the country into defaulting on the payments.

On Monday, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof led a delegation from Argentina in a four-hour meeting with Pollack, also without the presence of representatives of the hedge funds.

Griesa has forbidden the country from making any payments to holders of the restructured bonds unless it pays the hedge fund "holdouts" at the same time.

As a result, Buenos Aires missed a payment on June 30, giving the country a one-month grace period to strike a deal with the holdouts before the restructured bond holders declare it in default.