Argentina's president suspends Vatican trip after fracturing ankle

Argentina's president suspends Vatican trip after fracturing ankle

BUENOS AIRES - Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez has cancelled a trip to the Vatican in January and suspended official events next month after fracturing her ankle during the Christmas holiday period, the government said on Monday.

Fernandez had been due to travel the Vatican together with her Chilean counterpart, Michelle Bachelet, on the invitation of Pope Francis to commemorate the 30th anniversary of a peace treaty signed between the two South American countries.

"All activities programmed for the month of January are suspended, including the trip to the Vatican," Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich told reporters on Monday.

Capitanich said officials in the presidency would begin re-scheduling the 61-year-old Fernandez's appointments from Jan 12.

The two-term president fractured her left ankle on Friday after slipping at home on a wet floor and has been ordered by doctors to keep it still, officials said.

Fernandez recently recovered from a bacterial infection of the colon, which kept her out of the public eye for most of November. In 2013, she underwent an operation to remove blood that had pooled on the brain.

Argentina and Chile almost went to war in the late 1970s over the disputed ownership of a small cluster of islands located in the Beagle Channel off the strategic southern edge of the continent.

The conflict was resolved through papal mediation, with Argentina recognising the islands as Chilean territory.

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