Milei and his spokesperson do not stop insulting Pedro Sánchez and Begoña Gómez

The Spanish government has escalated the recent diplomatic crisis with Argentina by converting the call for consultations from its ambassador in Buenos Aires into one permanent withdrawal. The ambassador María Jesús Alonso Jiménez will not return to her position, even if the current crisis is overcome, unless the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decides to propose it again. Consequently, the Council of Ministers must appoint a new ambassador and seek approval from the Argentine authorities.

This drastic measure is a direct response to the statements made by the Argentine president last Monday, in an interview with the television channel Todo Noticias (TN). launched a series of insults against the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and its administration. Milei described Sánchez as “coward” and accused him of sending women to verbally attack him. Moreover, he accused him of having ties to the Peronist opposition in Argentina and of taking advice from former President Alberto Fernández, who currently lives in Spain.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, announced the permanent withdrawal of the ambassador after the cabinet meeting. Albares had earlier summoned Argentina's ambassador to Madrid, Roberto Bosch, to voice the Spanish government's protest and demand a public apology from Milei, who had already expected him not to apologize. In response to the ambassador's withdrawal Milei described the measure as 'nonsense typical of an arrogant socialist' and accused Sánchez of having an excessive reaction to a comment that he said did not mention specific names.

The conflict arose from Milei's comments at a Vox meeting in Madrid, where he sharply criticized socialism and Pedro Sánchez without directly mentioning him by name. Milei stated that the Spanish government has been insulting him for months and recalled that Minister Óscar Puente publicly suggested that he was using drugs, an episode that both governments considered resolved.

Alonso Jiménez's final withdrawal is the third Spanish diplomatic measure in 48 hours, following the ambassador's call for consultations and the summons of the Argentine ambassador in Madrid. Despite these tensions, severing diplomatic relations with Argentina is out of the question. The Spanish Embassy will continue to operate under the leadership of the Chargé d'Affaires, emphasizing the strength of the ties between the two countries Spain as the second largest foreign investor in Argentina and a large Spanish colony in that country.

Withdrawing an ambassador is an unusual act in Spanish diplomacy. In 2016, Spain withdrew its ambassador to Caracas following verbal attacks by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro against then-President Mariano Rajoy. In 2020, Spain, along with other European countries, downgraded the diplomatic representation in Venezuela to the category of chargé d'affaires until 2022.

Despite the crisis, Albares stressed that Spain wants to maintain the best relations with Argentina, but underlined the seriousness of Milei's actions.. A foreign head of state who insults the institutions of his host country and interferes in its internal affairs violates the fundamental principles of international relations. Albares criticized Milei's lack of civility during his visit to Madrid, where, despite logistical and security support from the Spanish government, he attacked his hosts head-on.

Given the possibility of a new visit by Milei to Spain in June to receive an award, Albares indicated that they will analyze in detail the type of visit planned. While the Spanish government cannot prevent Milei's entry, it could hinder the facilities granted during his first visit.

Albares did not rule out further diplomatic actions depending on how the crisis evolves, although he did not reveal specific details. The Spanish government will not seek support from the European Union due to the presence of Milei's allies among some European leaders. However, the country could suspend the Treaty of Cooperation and Friendship between Spain and Argentina signed in 1988, although these high-level political consultations no longer take place regularly.

The crisis could continue when President Sánchez and Milei meet at the end of this year at several international summits, including the G-20 in Brazil and the Ibero-American summit in Ecuador, which will also be attended by the King of Spain.

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