Argentina’s President Javier Milei Meets Czech Leaders To Wrap Up His Trip To Europe

Argentine President Javier Milei attends a conference, in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, June 24, 2024. (Katerina Sulova/CTK via AP)
Argentine President Javier Milei attends a conference, in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, June 24, 2024. (Katerina Sulova/CTK via AP)
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PRAGUE (AP) — Argentina’s self-described anarcho-capitalist President Javier Milei wrapped up his brief trip to three European Union countries by visiting the Czech Republic on Monday.

Milei met Czech leaders, including his counterpart, retired Gen. Petr Pavel and conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and gave a speech at a conference on how to deal with an ineffective government.

High on the agenda was the two countries’ support for Ukraine, bilateral cooperation in business, technology, defense and other fields and a trade agreement between the European Union and the countries of the Latin American Mercosur trade bloc.

After their meeting, Milei and Pavel made only brief statements and didn't take questions.

“We together support (Ukraine) President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy against the brutal Russian aggression, and at the same time we agree that Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorism,” Milei said through a translator.

Pavel said he believed that Argentina will become in the future one of the global partners of NATO.

“I’m glad that Argentina is ready to take its share of responsibility for the global security,” Pavel said.

He highlighted the importance of a trade deal between the EU and Mercosur. “Czechia and Argentina are among the countries that are convinced a free and open trade contributes not just to an economic prosperity but also to security.”

Milei, who is known for his unfiltered way of speaking, was elected last year on the promise to fix Argentina’s troubled economy.

His austerity measures have fueled waves of protests in the South American nation, with protesters saying cuts have put the poor even more at risk and have endangered public universities. Milei has also drawn the ire of human rights activists after he called abortion “murder” and lambasted the country’s feminist movement as a “cult of a gender ideology.”

The Czech prime minister said after their meeting that they share similar views on key security issues “which is documented by Argentina’s support for Ukraine.”

The trip to Prague came after visiting Germany for a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and following a controversial trip to Spain, where Milei made no plans to meet with senior government officials, amid a diplomatic crisis engulfing the long-standing allies.

Milei was accompanied by Defense Minister Luis Alfonso Petri who signed a memorandum of understanding with his Czech counterpart Jana Černochová about cooperation in the defense industry.

Milei was applauded when he arrived for his speech at the Zofin palace in downtown Prague with several protesters gathered near the venue.