Argentine President-elect Fernandez holds call with Trump

FILE PHOTO: Argentina's President-elect Alberto Fernandez looks on as he attends the oath of office of Tucuman Governor Juan Manzur, in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump called Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez to congratulate the center-left politician for winning Sunday’s election and discuss the South American country’s troubled economy.

Fernandez sent a tweet saying Trump told him he had “instructed the International Monetary Fund to work with us to resolve the problem of our debt.”

The IMF extended a $57 billion credit line to the recession- and inflation-racked country last year when a run on the peso currency sparked concerns about a possible sovereign bond default.

“I thanked him for the gesture and told him of my intention to maintain mature and cordial relationship with the United States,” the tweet said.

The White House said in a statement the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and that Trump expressed U.S. support for helping Argentina “overcome economic challenges”.

The IMF deal, negotiated with Argentina’s outgoing President Mauricio Macri, has been in limbo since the Aug. 11 primary election, which Fernandez won by a higher-than-expected margin. The primary result prompted a steep sell-off in Argentine asset prices, and revived debt fears.

The peso steadied this week, helped by central bank interventions, after Fernandez’s Oct. 27 election win. The currency closed Friday at 59.745 to the U.S. dollar.

Reporting by Hugh Bronstein, Maximilian Heath and Marina Lammertyn, Additional reporting by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham in Washington, Editing by Alistair Bell, Sonya Hepinstall and Jacqueine Wong