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I'll keep working for Slovaks: outgoing ambassador

The departing US ambassador to Slovakia, Rodolphe Vallee, said moving towards visa-free travel for Slovaks visiting the United States was one of the biggest successes of his two-year mission in Slovakia, according to an interview with the Hospodárske Noviny daily published December 5.

Vallee said other successes were cooperating with Slovaks in the field of education, doing good work with NGOs, and making headway in use of US technologies and know-how to create better energy security in Slovakia.

On the other hand, the biggest challenge was the integration of the Roma population in the mainstream labour force, he said.

Slovakia is at roughly 12 percent in the number of rejected visa applications for travel to the USA, which is already a dramatic drop. Vallee said he believes that this trend will continue.

Vallee is returning to a family business in the US, but he wants to keep up his ties with Slovakia and search for opportunities to attract US capital to the country, for example in the power sector.

He added that Slovakia should be proud of the excellent results of its performance in US, and that his successor can look forward to cooperating with the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry.

-SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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