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LATIN AMERICA | 28-06-2024 14:02

Milei refuses to apologise to Lula and his ‘inflamed ego’

President Javier Milei says he won't apologise to his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, branding him a"lefty" with an "inflamed ego.”

President Javier Milei on Friday refused to apologise to his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as the latter this week demanded, and instead called him a "lefty" with an "inflamed ego.”

"We have to rise above these trifles because the interests of Argentines and Brazilians are more important than the inflamed ego of some little left-winger," Milei declared during an interview with the LN+ television channel about Lula's request.

The Brazilian president had said publicly this week that he would not speak to Milei until he apologised for the “nonsense” he said previously about him.

"I have not spoken with the president of Argentina because I think he should apologise to Brazil and to me. He said a lot of nonsense, I just want him to apologise," Lula said in an interview with the UOL website.

The leftist leader did not specify which statements he was referring to, although Milei had previously referred to him as "corrupt” and a “Communist.”

"What are the problems, that I called him corrupt? Wasn't he imprisoned for being corrupt? That I called him a Communist? Isn't he a Communist? Since when do you have to apologise for telling the truth? Or are we so sick of political correctness that you can't say anything to the left even when it's true?" said Milei said on Friday.

The two presidents greeted each other cordially when they met recently in Italy during the G7 summit, but did not share a bilateral meeting.

Lula said that Argentina 'is a very important country for Brazil, and Brazil is very important for Argentina' and that “it is not a president of the Republic who is going to create quarrels between Brazil and Argentina.”

Milei has forged closer ties with far-right former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, whom he invited to his inauguration. Although there were attempts at rapprochement with Lula’s government, the Brazilian leader did not attend the ceremony in Buenos Aires.

Milei and Lula will meet again in Asunción, Paraguay, at the beginning of July for the Mercosur summit.

A source at Paraguay’s Foreign Ministry confirmed to AFP that the two leaders are due to attend the meeting on July 8.

 

– TIMES/AFP
 

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