"There is no doubt that this has been, and will continue to be, a difficult economic transition period for the Argentine people," Yellen said in remarks prepared for her first meeting with Caputo. She said protecting the most vulnerable during the transition would be vitally important.

Yellen, the latest in a string of U.S. officials to meet with senior Argentine officials since Argentine President Javier Milei took office, commended Caputo for his leadership.

"The Milei administration has inherited a steep stabilization task but has already taken some important steps toward restoring fiscal sustainability, adjusting the exchange rate, and combating inflation," she said.

Yellen said she saw many areas for collaboration between the U.S. and Argentina on key issues on the agenda during this week's meeting of finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies. She said she expected an "active and constructive relationship" between the U.S. Treasury and Caputo's ministry.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal)

By Andrea Shalal