Argentina asks to join Nato as President Milei seeks more prominent role

19 April 2024, 00:24

Argentina NATO
Argentina NATO. Picture: PA

Nato’s deputy general secretary Mircea Geoana has welcomed Argentina’s bid to become an accredited partner in the alliance.

Argentina formally requested to join NATO on Thursday as a global partner, a status that would facilitate greater political and security cooperation.

President Javier Milei’s right-wing government aims to boost ties with Western powers and attract investment.

The request came as Nato’s deputy general secretary Mircea Geoana discussed regional security challenges with Argentine defence minister Luis Petri, who was visiting Brussels.

Mr Geoana said he welcomed Argentina’s bid to become an accredited partner in the alliance — a valued role short of “ally” for nations not in Nato’s geographical area and not required to participate in collective military actions.

US Argentina Milei
Argentine President Javier Milei (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Nato membership is currently limited to European countries, Turkey, Canada, and the United States.

The designation could allow Argentina access to advanced technology, security systems, and training that was not previously available to it, the Argentine presidency said.

“Argentina plays an important role in Latin America,” Mr Geoana said at the Nato headquarters.

“Closer political and practical cooperation could benefit us both.”

Mr Milei has been pushing a radical libertarian agenda aimed at reversing years of protectionist trade measures, overspending and crippling international debt that has plunged the country’s economy into a tailspin.

Over his past four months as president, he has reshaped Argentina’s foreign policy to almost unconditional support for the United States.

This is part of an effort to return Argentina to prominence in the global economy after past administrations allowed relations with Washington and European allies to wither.

Mr Milei’s government also seeks security benefits through warming ties with Western countries.

On Thursday, the US government announced it was providing Argentina with 40 million dollars (£32 million) in foreign military financing for the first time in more than two decades — a grant that allows key US allies like Israel to buy American weaponry.

The funds, intended to help Argentina equip and modernise its military, will help foot the bill for 24 American F-16 fighter aircraft Argentina bought from Denmark earlier this week.

Defence minister Mr Petri hailed the acquisition of the advanced warplanes as “the most important military purchase since Argentina’s return to democracy” in 1983. The 300 million dollar (£241 million) price tag has drawn criticism from Mr Milei’s political opponents as he slashes spending across the government.

Formally partnering with Nato requires the consensus of all 32 Nato members.

Argentina’s ties to key Nato ally Britain have been fraught since 1982 when the two went to war over the contested Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.

Other global partners of the alliance include Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Pakistan. Currently, the only Nato partner in Latin America is Colombia.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Israel Palestinians

Israeli military says it has seized strategic corridor along Gaza-Egypt border

Brazil Floods

Brazil’s president withdraws ambassador to Israel

Trump Hush Money

Jury in Trump’s hush money case begin deliberations

Moldova U.S. Blinken

US pledges £106m in aid to Moldova to counter Russian influence

A volcano spews lava in Grindavik, Iceland

Volcano in Iceland erupts, triggering evacuation of Blue Lagoon geothermal spa

"Today there was a horrible incident where a person ended up in an airplane engine," a spokesperson said

Person killed after falling into passenger plane engine at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport

Explosion Ohio

Building explosion kills bank employee and injures seven in Ohio

Balloons with rubbish believed to have been sent by North Korea hang on electric wires as South Korean army soldiers stand guard in Muju, South Korea

North Korea flies balloons carrying rubbish over the South

The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft of Singapore Airlines parked after the SQ321 London-Singapore flight that encountered severe turbulence, at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, near Bangkok, Thailand

Rapid changes in gravitational force ‘led to 178ft altitude drop on plane’

North Korea has been sending balloons of rubbish over the South

North Korea dumps 260 balloons filled with 'excrement' and rubbish on South

EU flags

Police search offices and residence of employee of European Parliament

A Phillips 66 Conoco fuel service station (Alamy/PA)

ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil in deal valued at 22.5 billion dollars

A technology expert claims to have found the wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Expert claims to have found Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 wreckage on Google Maps

Spain Arab Nations

Palestinian PM visits Madrid after Spain recognises Palestinian state

Israeli soldiers drive an APC near the Israeli-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel

Three soldiers killed in Rafah, says Israeli military

Robert De Niro speaks to reporters in support of President Joe Biden across the street from former president Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York

Biden campaign sends De Niro to Trump trial to put focus on 2021 Capitol attack