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ARGENTINA | 05-12-2019 16:17

Felipe Solá will be foreign minister, confirms Alberto Fernández

President-elect also confirms that former presidential candidate and ex-Buenos Aires Province governor Daniel Scioli will serve as his ambassador to Brazil.

President-elect Alberto Fernández confirmed Thursday that former Buenos Aires Province governors Felipe Solá and Daniel Scioli will take up key roles in his future administration, with the former serving as foreign minister and the latter as ambassador to Brazil.

The news was confirmed in a statement to the press from Frente de Todos, which announced the future officials had been "presented" to a group of lawmakers from Brazil, headed by the president of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia.

The meeting was attended by "Felipe Solá and Daniel Scioli, whom [the president-elect] presented as future chancellor and ambassador to Brazil."

Solá and Scioli join just a handful of confirmed appointments from the president-elect, who will announce his full Cabinet on Friday at 6pm at his campaign headquarters in Puerto Madero. The other confirmed roles are Daniel Arroyo, who will head the social development portfolio, and Ginés González García, the veteran former health minister who will return to the post next week.

 

“If we respect each other, living together is easier. Convey to President Jair Bolsonaro my respect and appreciation for working together. My first gesture with Brazil is to send as an ambassador someone very valued by me,” said Fernández, in reference to Scioli.

“We have a common destiny, we have to take care [and ensure] that no situation alters our relationship: Brazil is a brother with another language,” he added.

Bolsonaro, Brazil's outspoken far-right president, has repeatedly expressed his dismay over the return to Peronists to power in Argentina. Just this week he warned that Buenos Aires had "much more" to lose than Brazil, should relations sour.

In his statement, Fernández said he was delighted by the visit of the Brazilian lawmakers, declaring that "regional integration is the best tool to face globalisation."

Most onlookers have predicted Solá would head the Foreign Ministry, with ex-UN and US ambassador Jorge Argüello also among those tipped for the post.

Speaking in an interview with the TN news channel last week, Solá said Scioli would be a "very useful" envoy to Brasilia, arguing that he "does not have a certain ideological backpack" and would offer "a fresh way of approaching a complicated government."

He also argued that Argentina would have to "de-ideologise" how it was was perceived and said that Argentina would not leave the Lima Group, nor the Puebla Group.

– TIMES/NA

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