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Argentina’s President Javier Milei Announces Intentions to Relocate Embassy to Jerusalem

Credits: Reuters

President Milei, during his initial official visit, excluding a brief appearance at the Davos economic forum in Switzerland, has declared, “I intend to relocate the embassy to West Jerusalem.”

The anticipated announcement was favorably received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose office expressed a warm welcome to the decision.

Netanyahu, a conservative and the libertarian Milei, often likened to former US President Donald Trump, who relocated the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, is scheduled for discussions on Wednesday, aiming to strengthen ties between the two nations.

Argentina’s President, Javier Milei (Credits: Javier Milei)

Upon his arrival, Milei visited the Western Wall in the historic Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, a significant place for Jewish prayers. His itinerary includes a visit to a kibbutz and meetings with families of hostages taken by the Palestinian armed group Hamas during an attack in southern Israel on October 7, resulting in the tragic death of at least 1,139 people, according to an Al Jazeera tally based on official Israeli figures.

The group, which controls Gaza, captured around 240 individuals as hostages. Following the Hamas assault, Israel launched a destructive bombardment and ground offensive on Gaza, coupled with severe restrictions on water, food, and aid supplies to the region. The campaign resulted in extensive destruction and the displacement of over 80 percent of Gaza’s residents.

Palestinian group Hamas has strongly condemned Milei’s announcement, viewing it as a violation of the rights of the Palestinian people to their land and a breach of international law, considering Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territory.

Milei, recognized for his passionate speeches and distinctive sideburns, identifies himself as an “anarcho-capitalist.” Although raised in a Catholic family, he has studied Jewish scripture.

Following his election victory in November, Milei visited the tomb of a revered rabbi in New York, a popular spiritual destination for some Jews. Argentina’s Jewish community, numbering 250,000, is one of the largest in Latin America.

From Israel, Milei is scheduled to travel to Rome on Friday for a meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and a private audience with Pope Francis. While Milei has previously criticized his fellow Argentinian, he has recently moderated his rhetoric.

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