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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Friends? The Pope and Milei meet… amid rumors about a trip by Francis to Argentina – El Financiero

The Argentine president, Javier Mileiaddressed in his meetings in the Vatican Secretariat of State, after his meeting with Pope Francis, “the program of the new Government to face the economic crisis and the commitment to peace between nations.”

Although the Vatican did not mention a possible visit in a statement released after the meeting, the statement, which focused on the Milei’s subsequent meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, said that their conversations dealt with the program of the argentine government “to combat the economic crisis” and in unspecified international conflicts.

During “the cordial conversations in the Secretariat of State”, “satisfaction was also expressed for the good relations between the Holy See and the Argentinian republic and the desire to strengthen them even more,” according to a brief statement from the Vatican.

Pope Francis met today in the Vatican for the first time and for an hour with the Argentine president.

“In the continuation of the conversation, several international topics were addressed, in particular current conflicts and the commitment to peace between nations,” adds the Vatican note in which only the topics discussed with the Secretary of state.

The private meeting lasted an hour and was later greeted by the delegation, which included the sister of the Argentine president and general secretary of the President, Karina Milei.

Milei arrived at the San Damaso patio that gives access to the apostolic palace, a few minutes late compared to the scheduled time, because on the way to the meeting he stopped on via de la Conciliazione in front of the Argentine embassy to take a photo with some compatriots.

Afterwards, the Argentine delegation met with the secretary of Vatican State, Pietro Parolin, and the Secretary for Relations with States, Richard Gallagher, so they spent almost two and a half hours in the Vatican.

Francisco’s meeting with Milei was somewhat longer than the one he had with previous leaders such as Alberto Fernández, with whom he spoke privately for about 40 minutes, or with Mauricio Macriwhich was also around an hour, although the first had only been 20 minutes.

With Cristina Fernández, the pontiff had up to seven meetings inside and outside the Vatican and on March 17, 2014 he had lunch with Francis for about three hours.

What did Javier Milei and Pope Francis give each other?

When giving gifts, Milei donated to the pontiff the copy of the handwritten letter from Foreign Minister José María Gutiérrez to Juan Bautista Alberdi accrediting him as representative in Europedated May 1854a painting with the image of the commemorative postcard of the first Argentine saint, Mama Antula, who was canonized this Sunday and which the Argentine Postal Service distributed on the occasion of her beatification.

He also brought dulce de leche alfajores and lemon cookies from the pontiff’s preferred brand, as specified by Milei’s spokesperson, Manuel Adorni, in his account on X.

The Argentine pontiff gave Milei, as he usually does to all those who visit him, his message of Peace for this year, some of his writings and a bronze medallion with a cross and a dove, which is inspired by the canopy of the basilica of Saint Peter made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini “and that symbolizes the harmony between the sacred and the divine, uniting heaven and earth.”

Upon entering the library, Milei was heard saying: “I didn’t have this task, but if you ask me…”, according to the video distributed by the Vatican, in which the pope is also heard saying that Alberdi liked the letter.

The Argentine president was also accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Diana Mondino; the head of the Interior, Guillermo Francos; the head of Human Capital, Sandra Pettovello; the Secretary of Worship, Francisco Sánchez, and the ambassador to Israel, Rabbi Axel Wahnish.

This Sunday, Milei attended the canonization mass of María José de Paz y Figueroa, better known as Mama Antula, and there she was able to greet Pope Francis for the first time after the then presidential candidate considered the pontiff a “representative of evil on earth” and a supporter of “bloody dictatorships.”

During this meetingMilei affectionately hugged the pope and asked to give him a kiss while the Argentine pontiff jokingly exclaimed: “You cut your hair!”, between the laughter of both. “I messed it up,” he responded to the president, taking his hands and laughing, as heard in the videos of the meeting.

With information from AP

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