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New U.S. ambassador arrives in Slovakia

The new U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia, Vincent Obsitnik, was welcomed by foreign ministry and American embassy officials at the Jarovce-Kittsee border crossing, after flying into the Vienna airport on December 6.

Obsitnik replaces Rodolphe Vallee, who became ambassador in August 2005 and left Slovakia on Wednesday.

Accompanied by his wife, Annamarie, the Slovak-born ambassador thanked everyone for the warm welcome, saying that he was excited to be in Bratislava. Obsitnik also said that his political and diplomatic objective is to further bolster relations between the U.S.A and Slovakia.

Hailing from Virginia, Obsitnik is not a career diplomat, having worked in the past as vice-president for international development at Litton/PRC. He has also worked in managerial positions at Unisys/Loral and IBM, and was active as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of American Heritage abroad.

Obsitnik said he was born in Moravany near Michalovce (now Košice region) in 1938, but moved with his family to America when he was just two months old. He paid his first visit to his relatives in Slovakia in 1970, and since then has travelled here twice a year.

-TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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