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ARGENTINA | 28-11-2023 15:44

United States takes political pulse of Argentina's new president Javier Milei

Joe Biden's government wants to “listen to the ideas” of Javier Milei to see where he is heading in his policy, making use of his current visit to the United States.

US President Joe Biden's government wants to “listen to the ideas” of Javier Milei to see where he is heading, making use of his current visit to the United States to make an assessment on the right-wing libertarian.

During this two-day stay in the country, Argentina's president-elect will not meet with Biden due to scheduling issues, stated the spokesman of the National Security Council, John Kirby, to journalists in a press conference.

“Unfortunately, the president will not be able to meet with him due to domestic travel,” but he will meet National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other officials at the White House, he added.

It is the usual thing since US presidents do not usually officially receive heads of state at the Oval Office who have not been sworn in, and Milei will not be inaugurated until December 10.

For the time being, the Democratic government seems interested in probing the economist who won the presidential election by a landslide and has promised to turn the United States into his main ally, to the detriment of such countries as China or Russia.

“Obviously, we want to continue finding ways to cooperate with Argentina,” which is a “dynamic” ally in the Americas “in many, many matters,” said Kirby about Milei, who might end up being a regional friend when it comes to foreign policy. 

“We can’t wait to hear the ideas of the president-elect and what political direction he wishes to take, and to make sure we can keep that line and communication channel open,” Kirby said.
The visit allows Washington to take Milei’s political pulse, whom most of the US press has dubbed a far-right politician.

The president-elect arrived in Washington on Tuesday afternoon from New York, where he visited the grave of late rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson first thing in the morning.

Although Catholic, the economist has stated his interest in studying the Torah, the sacred Jewish scripture, and he intends to be close to Israel during his Presidency.

Argentina has the largest Jewish community in Latin America, numbering some 250,000 people.

 

Lunch date

Milei, an anti-establishment ultra liberal, had lunch on Monday with former Democratic US president Bill Clinton, with whom he “shared his reform plan,” according to a release from the president-elect’s office. 

The lunch was also attended by Christopher Dodd, Biden’s special presidential advisor for the Americas.

“There is great expectation to help Argentina get ahead,” stated one of his collaborators Gerardo Werthein, in a television interview. 

Werthein is likely to be appointed Milei’s ambassador to the United States.

Milei’s diplomatic red carpet welcome will continue on Tuesday with a political aspect, with Sullivan, and an economic one, with an unavoidable visit to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with whom Argentina has a loan to the tune of US$44 billion. 

The meeting is expected to be of a technical nature and for the time being he is not scheduled to meet with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, with whom he already spoke last Friday by videoconference about the challenges facing the country.

The IMF is especially interested in one member of Milei’s gang: Luis Caputo, who will very likely become his economy minister, a key post in the government of a country with over 140-percent annual inflation and 40 percent of the population living in poverty.

His team will also go to the Treasury, where “the economic policy priorities of the incoming administration” will be approached, as informed by a spokesperson from that Department.

His sister Karina Milei and his future Cabinet chief Nicolás Posse close the retinue of a two-day trip to open doors partly facilitated by US Ambassador to Argentina Marc Stanley.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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