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Argentina calls CIA comment "irresponsible"

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Argentina on Thursday blasted the head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for saying the country, along with Ecuador and Venezuela, could be pushed into instability by the global economic crisis.

Lumping Argentina together with Ecuador and Venezuela, both led by leftist anti-Washington firebrands, raises concern in this country, where center-left President Cristina Kirchner is trying to keep the economy from stagnating.

Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana called the comments made on Wednesday by CIA Director Leon Panetta “unfounded and irresponsible, especially from an agency that has a sad history of meddling in the affairs of countries in the region.”

Taiana said he will meet on Friday with U.S. Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne to demand an explanation. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by John O’Callaghan)