Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš (a Smer nominee) announced on Wednesday morning that he was resigning in order to take up the post of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
"I've accepted this offer after consultations with Prime Minister Robert Fico and President Ivan Gašparovič, and it should be officially confirmed today or tomorrow (December 18) by (UN Secretary-General) Ban Ki-moon," Kubiš said at a press conference in Bratislava.
Fico said that he wasn't thrilled that Kubiš is leaving, "but Slovakia's interests have to be put before the interests of the Coalition." He considers Kubiš's new post to be a success for Slovakia and its diplomacy. PM will announce the name of Kubiš's successor when the exact date, on which the minister will leave his current post is known.
"I won't promote a party candidate, however," he said.
Kubiš, whose possible departure had been discussed in the media for several weeks, has been active in the UN before. The peak of his diplomatic career so far was the post of Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which he held between 1999-2005. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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18. Dec 2008 at 7:30