Argentina and Colombia try to restore diplomatic ties after Milei calls Petro a ‘terrorist murderer’

Apr 1, 2024 | 0 comments

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Argentina and Colombia say they have taken “concrete steps” to improve frayed relations between the two countries after far-right Argentine leader Javier Milei called his left-wing Colombian counterpart a “terrorist murderer” in a CNN interview.

In a joint statement Sunday, the two nations’ foreign ministries said they had held talks under orders from Milei and Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

Colombia and Argentina presidents Gustavo Petro and Javier Milei.

“The respective governments have taken concrete steps to overcome any differences and strengthen this relationship,” the joint statement said.

The measures include the return of both countries’ respective ambassadors after Colombia last week expelled all Argentine diplomats from Bogota following Milei’s comments to CNN.

“You can’t expect much from someone who was a terrorist murderer,” Milei said in the interview of Petro, a former guerilla who became Colombia’s first left-wing president in 2022.

Colombia recalled its ambassador to Argentina in January following similar comments from Milei, Reuters reported.

Milei, a former television commentator with a reputation for bombast, has clashed with regional leaders since assuming power last year on a promise of implementing shock economic reforms.

In his wide-ranging CNN interview, which aired Sunday, Milei also called Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador “ignorant.”

López Obrador, a left-wing populist, had previously criticized Milei’s policies and compared him to a dictator. On Thursday, in a post on social media, López Obrador hit back, wondering why Argentinians “voted for someone who is not right, who despises the people.”

Meanwhile, Argentina last week accused Venezuela of cutting the electricity supply to its embassy in Caracas after the diplomatic mission hosted a meeting with the country’s opposition leaders.

Tensions have been simmering between Buenos Aires and Caracas after Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolás Maduro criticized Milei’s election victory in November last year, claiming the “neo-Nazi extreme right” had won power in Argentina, CNN en Español previously reported.

Credit: CNN


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