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Colombia expels Argentine diplomats over Milei remarks

March 28, 2024

The action comes after Argentine President Javier Milei called Colombia's Gustavo Petro a "terrorist" in a recent interview.

 Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Argentine President Javier Milei
Milei (R) made the remarks in a recent interview with CNN which has not yet been aired in full Image: Drew Angerer/Getty | Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty

Colombia has ordered the expulsion of Argentine diplomats after President Javier Milei called his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro a "terrorist" and a "murderer."

"The Argentine president's comments have deteriorated the trust of our nation, in addition to offending the dignity of President Petro, who was democratically elected," Colombia's foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The ministry did not give details on how many diplomats would be asked to leave the Andean nation but said the expulsion would be communicated to Argentina through "diplomatic channels."

Milei made the remarks in a recent interview with CNN which has not yet been aired in full.

"Mr Petro, well, you can't expect much from someone who was a terrorist killer, a Communist," Milei said in the interview. 

Fiery rhetoric

The Argentinian leader has made headlines with his fiery rhetoric since taking office in December.

In January, Colombia recalled its envoy from Argentina after Milei called Petro a "murderous communist who is sinking Colombia."

"This is not the first time that Mr. Milei has offended the Colombian President, affecting the historical brotherly relations between Colombia and Argentina," the foreign ministry in Bogota said. 

Petro is Colombia's first leftist president.

He is a former member of the long-demobilized M-19 guerrilla movement.

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dvv/jsi (AFP, Reuters, dpa)