Argentine President-elect Javier Milei on Sunday invited Brazil’s leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to his December 10 inauguration and praised their countries’ ties, again softening his tone with a figure he had harshly criticized before.
Milei said in a letter to Lula, which he reposted on social media site X (formerly Twitter) that he wishes to keep sharing “complementary areas” with the neighboring country so both can achieve “growth and prosperity,” citing their trade and global footprints.
The letter marks yet another shift from the radical libertarian, who during his campaign dubbed Lula an “angry communist” and suggested he would balk at doing business with Brazil, Argentina’s top trade partner.
Last week Milei, who traveled to the United States on Sunday, 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.
“I hope that our mutual time as presidents will be a stage for fruitful work and the construction of ties that consolidate the role Argentina and Brazil can and must fulfill in the concert of nations,” Milei told Lula.
The letter was delivered by his top foreign policy adviser, Diana Mondino, to Brazil’s Foreign Relations Minister Mauro Vieira at a meeting in Brasilia.
The new Argentine leader is closer politically and personally to former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and has invited him to his inauguration. Lula defeated Bolsonaro in elections last year.
“My main message is that we are brotherly countries and will continue to be,” Mondino told reporters after her meeting with Vieira, where they also discussed the current stage of Mercosur-EU negotiations for a trade deal.
Vieira said he would brief Lula on Milei’s invitation.
“I have no doubts that our relationship, which is very important, will remain that way … Mondino showed us Argentina wants to continue having a high-level dialogue with Brazil.”
Milei traveled to the United States on Sunday for a trip that will involve meetings with officials from the White House, the U.S Treasury, and the International Monetary Fund.