Argentina's right-wing president-elect to meet with a top Biden adviser

WASHINGTON — Argentina’s right-wing President-elect Javier Milei will meet with President Joe Biden’s national security adviser on Tuesday in Washington, according to the White House.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that Milei will meet with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and other administration officials. Biden, who will be traveling on Tuesday to Georgia for a memorial service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter and then to Colorado, will not meet with Milei.

The Treasury Department said in a statement that Milei’s economic policy advisers will also meet with senior Treasury Officials on Tuesday. That meeting is expected to focus on the incoming Milei administration’s economic policy priorities.

“We want to continue to look for ways to cooperate with Argentina,” Kirby said. “Argentina is a healthy and vibrant partner in this hemisphere on many, many issues. And so we’re looking forward to obviously hearing what the president-elect’s ideas are and where he wants to go on policy issues and making sure that we have a chance to keep that channel of communication open.

Milei’s meetings in Washington ”are protocol-driven to explain the economic plan: fiscal adjustment, monetary reform, state reform and deregulation,” a Milei spokesman, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to talk on the record, said. “It is not in search of financing.”

Milei, who has been compared to former President Donald Trump, was elected earlier this month and is scheduled to be inaugurated on Dec. 10. The president-elect has spoken favorably of Trump, and said that the 45th president told him in a congratulatory call last week that he would travel to Argentina so the two could meet face-to-face.

Milei’s conversation with the former president, who is the leading 2024 GOP presidential contender, came hours after Biden had his own call with Milei.

The White House said Biden congratulated Milei and spoke of “the strong relationship between the United States and Argentina on economic issues, on regional and multilateral cooperation, and on shared priorities, including advocating for the protection of human rights, addressing food insecurity and investing in clean energy.”

Milei spent Monday in New York City and was traveling to Washington primarily for talks with International Monetary Fund officials, according to Kirby.

While in New York, Milei visited the burial place of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who led the Chabad-Lubavitch movement for more than four decades before his death in 1994. Schneerson’s grave, at a cemetery in Queens, is visited annually by thousands of Jewish people and occasionally by world leaders.

Schneerson led Chabad-Lubavitch as the seventh rebbe, or spiritual leader. In those years, he was one of the most influential global leaders in Judaism, reinvigorating a small community that had been devastated by the Holocaust and pushing for all Jews to become more deeply connected to their faith and do more good in their everyday lives.

Milei, a Roman Catholic, has been studying the Torah for years and has openly talked about his respect for Judaism. Although he’s expressed a desire to convert to Judaism, he hasn’t formally started the process although he says he’s close.

Milei has also expressed staunch support for Israel, both before and after he won the presidential election. During the campaign, Milei often waved an Israeli flag at his rallies.

Argentina’s president-elect has said he wants to move Argentina’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, emulating a move made by Trump.

“I don’t go to the church; I go to the temple. I don’t talk to priests; I have a head rabbi. I study the Torah,” Milei said in an August interview. “I’m internationally recognized as a friend of Israel and a scholar of the Torah.”


Politi reported from Buenos Aires. Associated Press writers Fatima Hussein and Chris Megerian contributed to this report.

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