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ARGENTINA | 16-02-2024 17:29

Milei heading to pro-Trump event on heels of Blinken meeting

President Milei will travel to Washington to deliver a speech at the pro-Trump Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington later this month.

Argentina's President Javier Milei will travel to Washington to deliver a speech at a conference full of Donald Trump supporters the same week that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to meet with him in Buenos Aires. 

The Conservative Political Action Conference confirmed on its website that Milei will speak at its annual event that runs from February 21 to 24.

An exact date for the speech wasn’t published and Milei’s press office hasn’t released an agenda for the trip, though Milei told Bloomberg News last week he intended to go. 

The US State Department announced Friday that Blinken will meet with Milei in the Argentine capital as part of a South America trip that stretches from February 20 to 23. US Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols met with Milei’s Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse in Argentina last week. 

The timing of the two trips risks straining relations between Milei and US President Joe Biden’s team. The Argentine leader’s speech would be given to an audience full of conservative activists who oppose Biden’s re-election and have tightly embraced Trump’s candidacy. 

While Milei’s libertarian bent puts him more in a traditional Republican Party camp, he can’t afford to alienate the current Democratic administration: Argentina counts on US support at the International Monetary Fund for its US$44-billion programme. Milei met in November with Biden officials in Washington, and has received a steady flow of US visitors since taking office December 10. 

It’s unclear if Milei will meet Trump on the sidelines of CPAC. It will be Milei’s third international trip in two months after flying to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, and most recently concluding a week-long trip to Israel and Italy. Amid all the travel, Milei’s most important reform package faced a major setback in Congress, muddying his path forward to overhaul the economy amid a deep recession expected this year.

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by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg

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