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New ambassador nominations circulating in government circles

A list of three ambassadors destined to replace their colleagues at Slovak missions - two in the European Union and one outside Europe - has made its way to President Kováč's office, where it awaits his approval, an informed source told The Slovak Spectator. The source, who has seen the list, declined to identify to which countries the new ambassadors would go, saying only that the pair destined for Europe were going to "not very important countries" in the EU.
Of EU countries whose ambassadors have already served a normal term of four years are Spain, Portugal and France, according to Eduard Kukan, the foreign affairs minister in the interim 1994 government led by Jozef Moravčík.

A list of three ambassadors destined to replace their colleagues at Slovak missions - two in the European Union and one outside Europe - has made its way to President Kováč's office, where it awaits his approval, an informed source told The Slovak Spectator.

The source, who has seen the list, declined to identify to which countries the new ambassadors would go, saying only that the pair destined for Europe were going to "not very important countries" in the EU.

Of EU countries whose ambassadors have already served a normal term of four years are Spain, Portugal and France, according to Eduard Kukan, the foreign affairs minister in the interim 1994 government led by Jozef Moravčík.

A second list

Perhaps more newsworthy is that Foreign Minister Pavol Hamžík said on December 2 that he had nominated another five ambassadors to fill some of the countries' vacant posts both in Europe and perhaps at the United Nations in New York, according to a high-level Slovak diplomat who requested anonymity. The names are now awaiting approval by the government office.

On the European continent, Slovakia has open top diplomatic positions in London, Rome, Bonn, The Hague and Kiev; the missions in Denmark and Finland, meanwhile, currently are headed up by chargé d'affaires. "It is meant to fill the vacancies," the diplomatic source said. "Which ones I don't know."

The source did confirm news from a German official that Hamžík sought to fill his old seat in Bonn, offering the ambassadorship to Economic Ministry State Secretary Jozef Brhel.

However, Brhel, who is fluent in German, rejected the offer, and the list does not include a new nominee. The state secretary denied through his secretary that he was nominated for the position. Dmytro Pavlyčko, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Slovakia, said as far as he knew, the Foreign Ministry had not brought forward a candidate to be the ambassador to Kiev, a post which has been vacant "for seven months." Though he met with Hamžík on November 27, Pavlyčko said the issue was never discussed. "He [Hamžík] didn't say anything, but I didn't ask either," Pavlyčko said.

One probable appointment is The Hague, according to a high-level Western diplomatic source in Bratislava, who said that the individual is a career diplomat but did not know the person's name.

The route to becoming an ambassador in Slovakia has three steps, according to those familiar with the process. First, the foreign minister must nominate someone for the position; the nomination must be approved by the government office, and lastly the President must give it a final nod.

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