Argentina’s Ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Scioli, will remain in his position during President-elect Javier Milei’s government, his spokesman has confirmed to the Herald.
Future Foreign Minister Diana Mondino also said Scioli, along with other ambassadors, is likely to remain in his position, although she conceded that her administration could ultimately name new officials.
Press reports initially claimed that Scioli would be Milei’s tourism secretary, but his spokesperson denied this.
“Our will is that he remains [in the position],” Mondino told Radio Rivadavia on Monday morning. “But it takes two to tango — this is also Brazil’s will.”
However, the soon-to-be foreign minister said that she still can’t confirm whether Scioli will stay in Brazil as ambassador because “this depends on the Congress’ confirmation on the ambassadors — it’s a process that takes time.”
“While [that process] takes place, let’s hope Scioli can keep carrying out his duties,” Mondino said.
Although she said Scioli will officially finish his duties in Brazil on December 10, the day of Milei’s inauguration, Mondino told Radio Mitre that Scioli and other ambassadors can remain in their positions “until there is a definitive appointment.”
“We can’t leave the embassy in Brazil with no-one picking up the phone,” she said, adding that there is “very good predisposition” to work with Scioli, and that he “has an excellent relationship with Brazil.”
During the presidential campaign, Milei said that if he won the elections he would cut all commercial ties with “communist” countries, which he claimed included China and Brazil. Now, Mondino said that the idea of severing ties with Brazil “was, is and always will be absurd.” Brazil is Argentina’s top trade partner.
After Argentina’s elections, Brazilian President Lula Da Silva said he wouldn’t be going to Argentina for Milei’s inauguration because he felt “personally offended” by his harsh criticisms. Among other things, Milei has called Da Silva a “thief” and a “hardcore communist.” However, on Monday, Milei formally invited Da Silva to his inauguration and praised their countries’ ties.
A few days ago, Milei had already softened his tone with China’s communist leadership, thanking President Xi Jinping for a letter congratulating him. China is Argentina’s second-largest trade partner.
During the electoral campaign, Milei developed a strong relationship with Brazil’s far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro and his son Eduardo. The latter, along with other politicians from the Brazilian far right, traveled to Argentina to support Milei during election day on November 19. Jair Bolsonaro has been confirmed as an attendee at Milei’s inauguration.