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Montevideo, October 4th 2023 - 17:23 UTC



Vatican rejects nominee as Argentine ambassador; Fernandez meets the Pope at the end of the month

Friday, January 17th 2020 - 10:33 UTC
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A meeting of Alberto Fernandez with Pope Francis, before he was elected president of Argentina last October  A meeting of Alberto Fernandez with Pope Francis, before he was elected president of Argentina last October

The Argentine government has been forced to review the appointment of Luis Bellando as ambassador before the Vatican since his placet was not accepted by the Holy See. “The mechanics of the foreign ministry is to send first the names of diplomatic candidates since the host country must agree with the names proposed, so in this case, we will review the issue and reviews if a new consensus is needed to send another candidate as ambassador or representative to the Vatican”, cabinet chief Santiago Cafiero said.

“It is a process in which the foreign ministry has its administrative time and consultations, and we still don't have news about this”, added Cafiero.

Argentine government sources said that the government does not have another name appointment at the moment before the Vatican.

Bellando is a professional diplomat, and his name surfaced following on a request from the Vatican that it would not accept a “political ambassador”. But other objections cropped among which the fact that the diplomat had been twice married and once divorced.

According to the official CV, Bellando became a member of the Argentine foreign service in 1986, and his many appointments include head of the consulate in Rio do Janerio, Brazil, (2006/08) and in Tarija, Bolivia (2008/2011). In 2012 he became Deputy Secretary of Latin American policy at the Foreign ministry.

Bellondo was chargé dáffairs in Cuba when in January 2018 the former administration of Mauricio Macri appointed him as ambassador in Luanda, Angola. He took his post in February 2018.

The 'thumbs down' from the Holy See takes place two weeks before president Alberto Fernandez is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the end of January following his first overseas trip, to Israel.

Earlier this week the Argentine president said that “Francis knows how much I value, love and appreciate him, and how much we would celebrate if he decides to visit Argentina”.

“I understand he must resist coming to Argentina fearing he would be given the back by one of the sides, and the Pope belongs to no side, he's above all of us”, Fernandez said about a possible visit of Francis to Argentina.

The Argentine president will be travelling to Israel on 23 January to participate in the “International Forum of Leaders to Commemorate the International Remembrance Day of the Holocaust and the fight against anti-Semitism” to be held at the Yad Vahsem museum in Jerusalem.

In a release the Argentine Executive reported about President Fernandez' first overseas trip was reported to the Argentine ambassador in Israel, Ms Galit Ronen

Earlier this week the Argentine Exe3cutive reported that Pope Francis would receive the Argentine president on Friday 31 January at the Private Library of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.


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