Top EU officials on Monday congratulated right-wing populist Javier Milei on his election as Argentina's president, with European Council president Charles Michel dubbing the country a "close partner."
"Congratulations to Argentina's new president-elect Javier Milei for his victory. The people of Argentina have spoken in free and democratic elections," the European Council president posted on social media.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell echoed Michel's statement on behalf of the 27-member bloc.
"The EU congratulates Javier Milei upon his election as President of Argentina," he said.
"The people of Argentina voted in democratic, peaceful, orderly elections, which have taken place in the year the country celebrates 40 years of democracy."
A self-described "anarcho-capitalist," Milei swept to victory in Argentina's presidential election on Sunday vowing to halt decades of economic decline in a country reeling from triple-digit inflation.
The European Union and the Mercosur trade bloc – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – agreed the broad terms of a potential trade deal in June 2019, but have yet to finalise it.
Milei criticised the accord during the campaign and has threatened to pull out of Mercosur, but Michel expressed the hope that close ties between Brussels and Buenos Aires would continue.
"Argentina is a close partner of the European Union," he said, thanking outgoing Argentinian leader Alberto Fernandez for the "excellent cooperation" of recent years.
"I look forward to continuing this cooperation for the benefit of our peoples," he said.
Borrell stressed that Europe still hopes to ratify the trade deal.
"The incoming government of Argentina, taking office under challenging economic circumstances, can count on the EU to further strengthen our partnership to deliver positive results for our societies, including by finalising negotiations as soon as possible on the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement," he said.
India's PM sends best wishes
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Javier Milei on Monday for winning the presidential election in Argentina, a country with whom New Delhi's bilateral trade stood at US$6.4 billion last year.
"Look forward to working closely with you to diversify and expand India-Argentina strategic partnership," said a social media post by Modi, a populist leader who faces general elections slated for next year.
India is the fourth-largest trading partner of Argentina, according to New Delhi government statistics, with trade reaching a historic peak last year, up 12 percent on the year before.
Indian exports to the Latin American nation include agrochemicals, fabric, drugs and motorbikes, totalling US$1.84 billion last year.
India's US$4.55 billion in imports from Argentina include vegetable oils, leather, cereals and chemicals.