Saturday, June 22, 2024

ARGENTINA | 26-05-2024 05:36

Silicon Valley, Bukele, G7: Milei lines up busy international schedule

Javier Milei plans to visit the United States before attending El Salvador President Nayib Bukele second inauguration in early June. A trip to Italy for the G7 summit comes after, before award ceremonies in Spain and Germany.

Javier Milei took office eschewing the presidential airfleet and trips abroad as part of his cost-cutting rhetoric, but those days are long gone: Argentina’s President has a busy international agenda lined up over the next six weeks with trips to five nations already confirmed.

His first stop – the seventh of his Presidency – will be to the United States. At the turn of the month, he will support the recently re-elected Nayib Bukele by attending the El Salvador President’s second swearing-in ceremony. Milei will then be at the G7 Summit in Italy, before visiting Spain and Germany to receive awards from foundations.

Milei’s visits will be closely observed, given his recent diplomatic spat with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. During a visit to Madrid earlier this month, the President reacted to previous criticism from Spanish officials by calling Sánchez’s wife “corrupt,” prompting a war of words that ended in the PM recalling his country’s ambassador from Buenos Aires.

Argentina's libertarian leader, however, has not been put off from travelling abroad. 

Milei will head to the United States for a series of meetings with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in search of investment. The presidential delegation is due to leave on the ARG 01 presidential plan on Monday, May 27.

Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse, who usually accompanies the libertarian leader on his visits to North America, will not be part of the travelling party. Milei will be seconded on the trip by Economy Minister Luis ‘Toto’ Caputo.

The President will speak on Wednesday at Stanford University and will meet on Thursday with the CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, according to Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni.

Milei is due to attend a tech event on May 30 in Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Meetings with representatives from OpenAI, Apple, Google’s Alphabet, and others, are on the head of state’s schedule. 

At the moment, there are no plans to meet with officials from US President Joe Biden’s government. 

Another meeting with Elon Musk, the billionaire tech owner of SpaceX, Tesla and X, could be a late addition to the schedule.

On Friday, June 1, Milei intends to attend Nayib Bukele’s second inauguration as president in San Salvador. The controversial El Salvador leader won re-election in early February with a landslide 84 percent of the vote, rewarded for his hard-line approach to drug gang violence in the troubled country.

Milei and Bukele have expressed support for one another and spoken on the phone, though the Salvadoran leader did not attend the La Libertad Avanza leader’s inauguration last December in Buenos Aires, as he was in the middle of his own election campaign.

Argentina’s head of state will then travel to Borgo Egnazia, Italy, to take part in the G7 summit, set for June 13 to 15. Milei has been invited by Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni to the event, which brings together the leaders of the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the hosts, Italy.

Milei is expected to cross paths again with Pope Francis, who will attend a discussion panel on Artificial Intelligence on the sidelines of the summit. 

On 16 June he will take part in a peace summit in Lucerne, Switzerland, convened by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The following week, President Milei is due to return to Madrid to receive an award from the Instituto Juan de Mariana. The event will take place on June 21, within the framework of a “Freedom Dinner” held at the Madrid Casino.

As it stands, as happened on his last visit, Argentina’s President is not expected to meet with Sánchez, nor any official from the Spanish government.

The last date in Milei’s upcoming diary is a visit to Hamburg, Germany, on June 22. The head of state has been chosen as the recipient of the “Hayek Medal,” an award that highlights the work of Nobel economics laureate Frederic von Hayek. 

It is an acknowledgement of “the fight of the noble cause of freedom, a battle Milei has waged on the academic front and now on the political front,” according to a release from the foundation that gives out the award.

Officials from Milei's government are working to see if a meeting with German Chancellor Olaff Scholz can take place during his trip to the country. 



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