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LATIN AMERICA | 01-04-2024 09:26

Colombian ambassador to return to Argentina after Milei-Petro row

Foreign ministries of Colombia and Argentina put presidential row aside and announce normalisation of relations and future visit of Foreign Minister Diana Mondino to Bogotá.

The diplomatic row between Colombia and Argentina sparked by a war of words by its presidents looks to have been extinguished.

The foreign ministries of both nations have announced that Colombia's ambassador to Argentina will return to Buenos Aires, two months after he was recalled over comments made by Argentine President Javier Milei about his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro.

"The Colombian government has given instructions for Ambassador Camilo Romero to return to Buenos Aires,"read a joint statement.

Colombia recalled Ambassador Romero in late January after Milei called left-leaning Petro a "murderous communist who is sinking Colombia."

Both governments were open to taking "concrete steps to overcome any differences and strengthen this relationship," the statement added.

Bogotá also approved Argentina's proposed new ambassador to Colombia, who has not yet been named publicly.

Argentina’s Foreign Minister Diana Mondino will make an official visit to Colombia, the statement said, without specifying when.

In this way, the two governments "ratify the importance of maintaining good relations and maintain their will to strengthen bilateral ties."

Colombia's Foreign Ministry previously said that Milei's "denigrating" remarks had "deteriorated the trust of our nation, in addition to offending the dignity of President Petro."

Relations between Argentina and Colombia have typically been stable but have deteriorated since Milei took office in December.

On Wednesday, Bogotá ordered the expulsion of Argentine diplomats after Milei called Petro a "terrorist" and "murderer" during an interview with CNN.

Petro came to power in 2022 as Colombia's first leftist president and had described Milei's election victory as a "sad moment for Latin America."

Petro was for 12 years a member of a guerrilla force known as M-19, which signed a peace agreement in 1990. He later jumped into politics, serving as a senator and as mayor of Bogotá before being elected Colombia’s first left-wing president in 2002.

He described Milei's victory in the last November elections as a "sad moment for Latin America.”

 

– TIMES/AFP
 

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