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ARGENTINA | 28-01-2024 06:38

Milei’s team finalises overseas trip to Israel, Italy and the Vatican

Argentina’s president due to depart Buenos Aires on February 5 for trip lasting just over a week; Visit will take in stops in Israel, Italy and the Vatican, for a meeting with Pope Francis.

President Javier Milei is finalising the details of his first overseas tour, with the libertarian leader planning stops in Israel, Italy and the Vatican.

Government sources say that Milei intends to visit Israel, a nation he has firmly aligned himself with, on February 6. It is unclear how many days he will stay in the country, but the La Libertad Avanza leader has a date with his Argentine counterpart, Pope Francis, at the Vatican on February 12. Either before or after his stop at the Holy See, Milei will visit Rome for a meeting with Italy’s right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. 

In line with his previous trip to Davos, Switzerland, Milei plans to give off the message of austerity by travelling on a commercial flight. He is due to depart Buenos Aires on February 5.

While in Israel, the president plans to visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and show his strong political support for the Israeli government in the face of the bloody October 7 terror attacks by Hamas. 

On the campaign trail, Milei vowed to travel to Israel in his first overseas trip as president. He said he wanted to visit “for “more spiritual reasons than any other” and – after winning Argentina’s presidential election – an invite quickly arrived from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While the president’s desire to travel on a commercial flight is understood, the complex situation in the Middle East means that some in the president’s inner circle have argued for the use of a military plane.

While in Rome, Milei is expected to be hosted at the Palazzo Chigi, the headquarters of the Italian Executive Branch, by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. 

She recently praised the libertarian leader, praising his policies and describing him as “a fascinating personality.”

President Milei’s only confirmed date on the trip so far is a February 11 visit to the Vatican, during which he attend the canonisation ceremony of the beatified María Antonia Paz de Figueroa, better known as “Mama Antula.” The ceremony will take place at St Peter’s Basilica in the morning and during it, Mama Antula will be proclaimed as Argentina’s first saint.

The president will meet Pope Francis the following day, February 12, for a private audience, during which Milei will try to further reset strained relations with the pontiff.

Milei, according to reports, wants to travel with a small delegation. Foreign Minister Diana Mondino will be part of it and she is expected to remain in Europe and visit Germany after the president’s agenda is completed.


– TIMES/NA

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