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ECONOMY | 30-05-2024 17:44

Milei to meet Macron in Paris during packed European tour

Argentine leader's packed European tour in mid-June will also include a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

Javier Milei’s packed European tour in mid-June will also include a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, according to government officials familiar with the Argentine leader’s plans.

Milei intends to discuss the bogged-down trade talks between the Mercosur group of South American nations and the European Union, as well as Argentina’s bid to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and opportunities for lithium exploration and mining, one of the officials said.

While details of the meeting are still being worked out, for now the pair is set to meet on June 19 at the official French residence, that official added. Both asked for anonymity because the plans aren’t public yet.

The French Presidency didn’t confirm or deny the meeting.

A trade deal between the EU and Mercosur, made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and soon Bolivia, has been stymied after Macron complained it would enable cheap imports from countries with lower environmental standards. The blocs have been in talks to clinch an accord for more than two decades.

Before visiting France, Milei will cross paths with Macron at the Group of Seven summit in Italy, where he’ll be part of a diverse cast of characters invited by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni — including Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Pope Francis. He is also set to return to Spain to receive an award after a public brawl with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

The trip will also include a stop in Switzerland to attend a Ukraine summit scheduled for after the G-7 summit. Milei has repeatedly voiced his support for Ukraine  — President Volodymyr Zelenskyy even attended his inauguration in December — while Macron continues his efforts to win Global South support for the country.

Milei previously met Macron on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

by Jorgelina do Rosario & Manuela Tobias, Bloomberg

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