Brazil's Lula wants apology from Argentina's Milei

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday he believes his Argentine counterpart Javier Milei owes him and Brazilians an apology for having said "a lot of stupid things" about Brazil.

The leftist Brazilian leader said in an interview with news outlet UOL that he has still not met Milei, a right-wing libertarian who took office in December, because he wants an apology first.

Milei, an ally of far-right former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, attacked Lula several times during the Argentine politician's successful presidential campaign last year, dubbing him an "angry communist" and "corrupt."

"I just want him to apologize," Lula said. "Argentina is a country that I like very much. It is a very important country for Brazil and Brazil is very important for Argentina."

Brazil this month asked Argentina for information about dozens of Bolsonaro supporters seeking refuge in the neighboring country to avoid legal consequences for storming the capital, Brasilia, last year as part of an alleged coup attempt.

Milei suggested during his campaign that he would balk at doing business with Brazil, which is Argentina's top trade partner and the largest economy in Latin America.

Asked about Lula's comments, Milei's spokesman Manuel Adorni told a press conference that the Argentine government respects the Brazilian leader but that Milei has done nothing he should regret, "at least for now."

Adorni added that Milei "cordially greeted" Lula when the two had a "chance meeting" at the G7 summit in Italy earlier this month, but noted they had no bilateral talks.

(Reporting by Eduardo Simoes and Gabriel Araujo, Editing by Franklin Paul and Paul Simao)