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Spain Withdraws Its Ambassador to Argentina over Comments Made by President Milei

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A diplomatic crisis between historic allies Spain and Argentina expanded Tuesday as Spain pulled its ambassador from Buenos Aires and Argentine President Javier Milei lambasted the move as “nonsense typical of an arrogant socialist.”

Spain said it was officially pulling its ambassador from Argentina in response to comments made by President Milei at a far-right rally Sunday in Madrid, where he accused the Spanish prime minister’s wife of corruption and described socialism as “cursed and carcinogenic.”

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares told reporters Tuesday that the Spanish ambassador to Argentina “will definitely stay in Madrid.”

“Argentina will continue without an ambassador,” he said.

Milei responded angrily, telling the local La Nación news channel that the Spanish decision was “nonsense typical of an arrogant socialist.”

“Socialists are capable of doing anything,” he added.

FILE – A man walks dogs past Spain’s embassy in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, May 20, 2024. A diplomatic crisis between historic allies Spain and Argentina expanded Tuesday, May 21, 2024, as Spain pulled its ambassador from Buenos Aires and Argentine President Javier Milei lambasted the move as “nonsense typical of an arrogant socialist.” (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello, File)

The decision further escalated a diplomatic spat between the socialist Spanish government and the right-wing Argentine government following weeks of mounting tensions as Milei traded barbs with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Spain’s government had summoned its ambassador for consultations and demanded an apology from Milei after the libertarian leader’s fiery speech Sunday at a conference hosted by the hard-right Vox party.

Defying the norms of presidential behavior, Milei snubbed all Spanish government officials — as well as Spain’s King Felipe — on his visit to Madrid over the weekend and instead met only business executives and far-right opposition figures.

The Spanish foreign minister, Albares, accused Milei of responding to the government’s “hospitality” with “a frontal attack on our democracy, on our institutions and on Spain.”

On Monday Milei only doubled down on his attacks, refusing to apologize for his criticism of Sánchez, who took a brief break from the public eye last month after a judge opened a case alleging corruption and influence-peddling against his wife, Begona Gomez, based on complaints brought by a right-wing group that Sánchez denounced as a “smear campaign.”


By ISABEL DEBRE Associated Press

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