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Honorary Slovak Consul named in Ohio

Honorary Slovak Consul named in Ohio

New Slovak Ambassador to the United States Martin Bútora and his wife Zora are familiarising themselves with their new position and have already begun to promote Slovakia as a modern country with hospitable people and a rich cultural history. During a "Slovak Spring Weekend" held in Ohio in early May, Bútora brought Slovakia into the public eye in a variety of ways. Most importantly, he named Edward G. Keshock, a man with Slovak roots, as the state's Honorary Consul of the Slovak Republic.
In an evening gala, about 70 invited guests, including President of John Carroll University, Rev. Edward Glynn, listened as the Ambassador inaugurated the University's "Slovak Heritage Room" which hosts an exhibition on Slovak Alexander Dubček, the key figure in Czechoslovakia's 1968 "Prague Spring". The Ambassador and his wife also presented a lecture entitled, "A First Hand View of Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe - the Experience of Slovakia" to the Council of World Affairs at the Cleveland University Club.
The weekend was crowned when Ohio Governor Bob Taft signed a document declaring May 1, 1999 as the day Ohio officially observed Slovak Independence Day. He also named the month of September "Slovak-American Heritage Month".
As the north-eastern Ohio region is the centre of various commercial activities, the ties between Slovakia and Ohio will hopefully develop into potential business ties with Slovakia, Keshock said. His office has already established a web-site to facilitate nation-wide communication between the honorary consuls in Pittsburgh, Naperville, Denver and Minneapolis.
"It is becoming vital to for Slovak-American populations to work more co-operatively, through networking and the use of modern communications technology," Keshock said.

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