Argentina’s Milei invites Brazil’s Lula to inauguration, travels to US

Argentina’s Milei invites Brazil’s Lula to inauguration, travels to US
Argentina’s Milei invites Brazil’s Lula to inauguration, travels to US

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Argentine President-elect Javier Milei yesterday invited Brazil’s leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to his December 10 inauguration and praised their countries’ ties, again softening his tone with a figure he had harshly criticised before. — Reuters pic

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 27 — Argentine President-elect Javier Milei yesterday invited Brazil’s leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to his December 10 inauguration and praised their countries’ ties, again softening his tone with a figure he had harshly criticised before.

Milei said in a letter to Lula, which he reposted on social media X, that he wishes to keep sharing “complementary areas” with the neighbouring country so both can achieve “growth and prosperity,” citing their trade and global footprints.

The letter marks yet another shift from the radical libertarian, who during his campaign dubbed Lula an “angry communist” and suggested he would balk at doing business with Brazil, Argentina’s top trade partner.

Last week Milei, who travelled to the United States yesterday, had already softened his tone with China’s communist leadership, thanking President Xi Jinping for a letter congratulating him. China is Argentina’s second-largest trade partner.

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“I hope that our mutual time as presidents will be a stage for fruitful work and the construction of ties that consolidate the role Argentina and Brazil can and must fulfil in the concert of nations,” Milei told Lula.

The letter was delivered by his top foreign policy adviser, Diana Mondino, to Brazil’s Foreign Relations Minister Mauro Vieira at a meeting in Brasilia.

The new Argentine leader is closer politically and personally to former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and has invited him to his inauguration. Lula defeated Bolsonaro in elections last year.

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“My main message is that we are brotherly countries and will continue to be,” Mondino told reporters after her meeting with Vieira, where they also discussed the current stage of Mercosur-EU negotiations for a trade deal.

Vieira said he would brief Lula on Milei’s invitation.

“I have no doubts that our relationship, which is very important, will remain that way... Mondino showed us Argentina wants to continue having a high-level dialogue with Brazil.”

Milei meanwhile was set to travel to the US on Sunday, a spokesperson told Reuters, noting he would attend a religious ceremony in New York and have meetings in Washington.

According to the spokesperson, Milei will meet officials from the White House, the US Treasury and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to explain his economic plan, which includes dollarising Argentina and closing the central bank.

“He is not looking for financing,” said the spokesperson, adding Milei’s sister Karina, the US ambassador to Argentina and three close aides were traveling with him.

Facing a severe economic crisis, Argentina is tied up by a US$44 billion loan programme from the IMF that has veered off track. Milei spoke with IMF director last week. — Reuters

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