ROME — Regardless of their rocky begin, Argentine President Javier Milei and Pope Francis seem to have hit it off as they met Monday amid hypothesis that the Argentine pontiff may lastly go dwelling for a go to later this yr.
The Vatican stated the 2 males met for an hour and 10 minutes, an unusually lengthy viewers by Francis’ requirements.
En path to his viewers, Milei stopped his motorcade alongside the principle By way of della Conciliazione boulevard resulting in the Vatican to greet well-wishers after which continued on to the Apostolic Palace for the assembly. He gave Francis a few of his favourite Argentine dulce de leche alfajor cookies and lemon biscuits, whereas Francis offered him with the paperwork of his papacy and a medallion.
A heat tone was already set the day before today, when Milei embraced Francis with a bearhug on the finish of a Mass to declare Argentina’s first feminine saint. A beaming pope quipped: “You narrow your hair!”
Milei’s workplace posted photographs of the embrace on X and wrote: “Could God bless Argentines and should the forces of heaven accompany us.”
It wasn’t at all times so. Milei, a self-proclaimed libertarian and anarcho-capitalist who’s promising a wave of austerity measures to revive Argentina’s financial system, described Francis as an “imbecile” in the course of the election marketing campaign that introduced him to workplace. He referred to as Francis “the consultant of malignance on Earth.”
Francis, who has additionally lamented Argentina’s extended financial disaster, appeared to have forgiven him and dismissed the criticism as mere marketing campaign rhetoric.
As not too long ago as final month the 87-year-old pontiff repeated his hope to go to Argentina later this yr for the primary time since his 2013 election. His decade-long absence from his homeland, regardless of visiting neighboring nations like Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile throughout his hold forth, has befuddled Argentines and others alike.
Milei invited Francis to go to, and the nation’s bishops have equally pressed for him to lastly come dwelling.
Later Monday, Milei was to satisfy with Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella.
Milei had purpose to be happy going into the viewers. In a single day, Israeli forces freed two hostages with Argentine citizenship who had been kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7. Milei arrived in Rome final Friday after a go to to Israel the place he hung out with the Argentine group.
In a message on X, his workplace thanked the Israeli forces for the rescue.