Argentina’s Milei Invites Brazil’s Lula to Inauguration, Travels to US

By Reuters
November 27, 2023Americas
Argentina’s Milei Invites Brazil’s Lula to Inauguration, Travels to US
Argentine president-elect Javier Milei addresses supporters after winning Argentina's runoff presidential election, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov. 19, 2023. (Agustin Marcarian/Reuters)

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA/BUENOS AIRES—Argentine President-elect Javier Milei on Sunday invited Brazil’s leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to his Dec. 10 inauguration and praised their countries’ ties.

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

“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 fulfill in the concert of nations,” Mr. 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. Mr. Lula defeated Mr. Bolsonaro in elections last year.

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

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

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

Mr. Milei was set to travel to the United States 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, Mr. Milei will meet officials from the White House, the U.S. Treasury, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to explain his economic plan, which includes dollarizing Argentina and closing the central bank.

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

Facing a severe economic crisis, Argentina is tied up by a $44 billion loan program from the IMF that has veered off track. Mr. Milei spoke with IMF director Kristalina Georgieva last week.

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