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Spain withdraws ambassador from Argentina amid Milei’s comments

The Spanish government has withdrawn its ambassador to Buenos Aires amid a deepening diplomatic scandal sparked by Argentine President Javier Milei’s visit to Madrid last weekend.

“The situation has not changed and I therefore announce that we are withdrawing our ambassador in Buenos Aires. The ambassador will certainly remain in Madrid,” Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares told journalists on Tuesday.

The move came after Argentina’s ultra-liberal leader Milei attended an election rally organized by Spain’s right-wing populist party Vox ahead of the European elections in Madrid on Sunday, where he sharply criticized the left-wing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and the wife of the Prime Minister described. , Begoña Gómez, as “corrupt.”

In response, Sánchez recalled the ambassador from Madrid for consultations and demanded a “public apology” from the Argentine president.

Milei not only refused to apologize, but made further dismissive statements. “The socialists are capable of anything. This is diplomatic nonsense,” he told La Nación newspaper on Tuesday.

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But Argentina will not recall its ambassador, he said. “If Pedro Sánchez makes a big mistake, I will not be stupid enough to make the same mistake. You have to explain to Mr. Sánchez that he is not the state, that he is not Spain and that his wife is even less so.”

Spain accuses Milei of interfering in Madrid’s internal affairs and launching a ‘frontal attack’ on democracy, its institutions and Spain.

Sánchez also warned of the danger the global far-right gathering poses “for societies like… [Spain’s]in which democracy is based on the pillars of economic progress, social justice and coexistence,” and said that “respect is indispensable.”

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares leaves after a meeting with the Argentine Ambassador to Spain at the headquarters of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Albares has summoned Argentina's ambassador to Madrid after Argentine President Javier Milei verbally attacked Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his wife, Albares said on Monday.  Diego Radamés/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

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