Argentina’s president-elect tells top Biden officials that he’s committed to freedom

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WASHINGTONArgentina’s President-elect Javier Milei met Tuesday with senior Biden administration officials at the White House in his first international trip since winning a presidential runoff earlier this month.

The right-wing Milei had a “positive meeting” with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the president-elect’s office said in a statement. The visit by Argentina’s incoming leader occurred while President Joe Biden was away from Washington at a memorial for former first lady Rosalynn Carter in Georgia and then traveling to Colorado.

The statement from Milei’s office said he had expressed “his views on the international geopolitical agenda aligned with the West and his commitment to the values of freedom.” It added that Sullivan, speaking on behalf of the administration, ”conveyed the willingness of the United States to cooperate in the transition of the incoming Argentine government, given the challenging political, economic and social circumstances that the country is facing.”

Also attending the meeting on behalf of the Biden administration were Juan Gonzalez, the National Security Council’s senior director for the Western hemisphere, Brian Nichols, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, and U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Marc Stanley, according to the statement by Milei’s office.

Milei made other stops in Washington. On Tuesday, he reposted on social media a picture of him at the Lincoln Memorial.

Milei, a libertarian, resoundingly won a Nov. 19 presidential runoff election. He is an economist who admires former U.S. President Donald Trump, and he has called for deep cuts in spending as a way to reduce Argentina’s red-hot inflation that is currently running at an annual rate of 143%. He also wants to replace Argentina’s peso with the U.S. dollar as the national currency.

Milei takes office Dec. 10.

Luis Caputo, a former finance minister who is being talked about as possible economy minister in the incoming administration, and Nicolas Posse, a close ally of Milei who is seen as likely Cabinet chief, were scheduled to have a sit-down with officials at the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF has a loan program providing $44 billion to Argentina to help improve its governance and economic growth.

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AP writer Paul Wiseman contributed to this report. Politi reported from Buenos Aires.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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