Tuesday, April 16, 2024

LATIN AMERICA | 20-02-2024 14:37

Argentina sends top officials Mondino and Caputo to G20 in Brazil to appease Lula

The context behind a trip to a forum with a different approach from the one sought by President Javier Milei.

With relations strained by President Javier Milei's harsh insults, Argentina's government is looking to appease Brazilian leader  Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva and boosted bilateral relations.

To this end, the Milei administration is sending two of its top officials to this week's G20 summit taking place in São Paulo. Argentina's official delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister Diana Mondino,and Economy minister Luis Caputo, who will be likely be accompanied by Central Bank Governor Santiago Bausili.

Brazil, in its role as pro-tempore leader of the G20, is presiding over this year's summits. Lula is seeking to impose his own approach with a three-part agenda: combating hunger, the quest for sustainable development and global governance.

One of the main proposals he is spearheading has to do with democratising institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank – contrary to the positions taken by President Milei.

Mondino travelled to São Paulo on Tuesday, a day after meeting with French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjour. She was welcomed to the country by Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad and Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, though time will be tight.

“There’s a long list of requests for bilateral meetings and, unfortunately, there won’t be time for all of them. United Kingdom, Argentina, France and Norway have all requested one,” Vieira told Brazilian publication O Globo.

The Milei government wants to calm the relationship with Lula, whom Milei branded a “corrupt communist” during his successful presidential campaign.  It was not the only insult hurled at the Brazilian head of state, though the Argentine leader did invite his counterpart to his inauguration. Lula chose not to take part in it.

It still remains unclear which meetings Mondino will hold in Brazil, but her presence in Brazil's financial powerhouse will coincide with the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Brazil and Argentina are two countries which according to the White House are two of the “most important” partners it has in Latin America, and Blinken will meet Milei in Buenos Aires on Thursday before returning to the US.

A few days ago, Mondino claimed that Milei's decision not to join the BRICS group of nations was not "a snub to Brazil."

“I remember that with Mauro Vieira, the Brazilian Foreign minister, I had talked about it more than once," she told Radio Perfil and NET TV. "In Argentina we have a situation where there are two crises, which we must work on and take part in. I’ve been looking at the number of international organisations where Argentina is involved, and there are many,” the official said.



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