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Argentine President Milei is back in Madrid but he won't be seeing Spanish leaders after their spat

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Argentine President Milei is back in Madrid but he won't be seeing Spanish leaders after their spat
News

News

Argentine President Milei is back in Madrid but he won't be seeing Spanish leaders after their spat

2024-06-21 21:47 Last Updated At:21:50

MADRID (AP) — Argentine President Javier Milei returned to Spain on Friday, just weeks after his previous visit to Madrid worsened a diplomatic crisis engulfing the long-standing allies.

Milei’s latest trip to Spain, like his three-day stay in May, doesn’t include any plans for meetings with senior Spanish officials.

Instead, the self-described anarcho-capitalist was to meet with Madrid’s powerful rightwing regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who is an outspoken opponent of Spain's socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. Spanish public broadcaster RTVE said Milei arrived in the Spanish capital on Friday afternoon.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said Milei's visit was private, and the Argentine president's office did not list the trip as an official engagement.

Last month, Milei met only Sánchez’s fiercest critics: members of the hard-right, anti-immigrant Vox party. During that stay, Milei also accused the Spanish prime minister’s wife of corruption and described socialism as “cursed and carcinogenic.”

In response, Spain announced the official withdrawal of its ambassador from Buenos Aires — a move Milei chided as “nonsense typical of an arrogant socialist.”

Milei has generated a number of diplomatic spats with his outspoken style and controversial opinions since becoming president last December.

The feud with Spain could have economic repercussions for Milei, who is trying to slash his country’s triple-digit inflation.

Spain is Argentina’s second-biggest foreign investor after the United States, with Spanish companies investing 140 million euros ($152 million) in the country in 2022. Some 495,000 Spaniards live in Argentina, according to Spanish government statistics, while 97,000 Argentines reside in Spain.

Milei was scheduled to go to Germany on Saturday and was due in the Czech Republic on Monday.

In Germany, Milei planned to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz — like Sánchez a center-left leader whose politics and style contrast sharply with those of Milei — on Sunday. But a greeting with military honors and a joint news conference that the German government originally announced were later canceled.

Scholz’s spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, said Friday it would be a “very short working visit, expressly at the wish of the Argentine president” and that there had been a “clear refusal” by Milei to hold a news conference.

Argentine President Javier Milei attends an event marking Flag Day in Rosario, Argentina, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Farid Dumat Kelzi)

Argentine President Javier Milei attends an event marking Flag Day in Rosario, Argentina, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Farid Dumat Kelzi)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese President To Lam on Thursday became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of party chief Nguyen Phu Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement.

Nguyen Phu Trong, who was elected to a third term as general secretary in 2021, has dominated Vietnamese politics since he became party chief in 2011. He is an ideologue who views corruption as the gravest threat facing the party.

As Vietnam’s top security official, Lam led Trong’s sweeping anti-graft campaign until May, when he became president following the resignation of his predecessor, who stood down after being caught by the campaign.

Lam is widely viewed as the top candidate to replace Trong when the latter's term ends in 2026. He spent over four decades in the Ministry of Public Security before becoming the minister in 2016 and had been a key figure in the execution of anti-corruption measures.

The party's powerful Politburo has now asked Lam to “preside over the work of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Secretariat," according to a statement from the party’s central office.

The statement also confirmed Trong's ill health which had long been rumored but didn't give any further details.

FILE - Vietnamese General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong addresses the media in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Sept. 10, 2023. Vietnamese President To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (Luong Thai Linh/Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE - Vietnamese General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong addresses the media in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Sept. 10, 2023. Vietnamese President To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (Luong Thai Linh/Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE - Vietnamese President To Lam speaks during a press briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 20, 2024. To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of party chief Nguyen Phu Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang, Pool, File)

FILE - Vietnamese President To Lam speaks during a press briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 20, 2024. To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of party chief Nguyen Phu Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang, Pool, File)

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