Chairman of Argentine Joint Chiefs Resigns
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Andres Antonietti, a brigadier general who parlayed friendship with President Carlos Menem into an appointment as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has resigned, the Defense Ministry confirmed Monday.
Antonietti submitted his resignation Sunday to Defense Minister Antonio Gonzalez. Ministry spokesman Faustino Altamirano said army Gen. Mario Candido Diaz will replace him.
Antonietti and Gonzalez clashed publicly over military issues, including the pending purchase of 54 U.S.-made Skyhawk fighter-bombers. Antonietti called the used materiel ″obsolete.″ The minister said it was the best the country can afford.
In recent days, Gonzalez called for Antonietti to justify his purchase of a home reportedly valued at $500,000 on a salary that pays him about $2,000 a month.
Antonietti was on the way to retirement in 1989 when Menem won election and named him head of presidential security at Government House.
Antonietti was appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Aug. 31.