The trip, officially to mark the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence, will take place Feb. 24, Fernandez’s press office said in an emailed statement. The invitation from Mexico’s president was extended “in attention to the strong ties of collaboration and friendship between both countries, and by virtue of the common historical aspects in our nations’ fight for independence” from Spain, the statement said.
Fernandez’s visit was confirmed by Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Twitter.
The meeting comes amid a Covid-19 surge that has killed more than 166,000 in Mexico and almost 50,000 in Argentina, decimated both economies and left millions unemployed. Lopez Obrador spent the past two weeks ill with the virus, returning to a public schedule only on Monday. The travel also is in spite of authorities in both countries encouraging citizens to leave home to prevent the virus spread.
The two leaders, who won election by campaigning against the business-friendly policies of their predecessors and share a similar rhetoric in appealing to the poor and working class, have a close affinity. Fernandez visited Lopez Obrador in Mexico City in 2019 just weeks before taking office. Their governments have been working together to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the active ingredient made in Mexico and shipped to Argentina.