Prime Minister Robert Fico took part in the ceremony in Oslo on Monday, December 10, at which the European Union will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the TASR newswire wrote.
"[Fico] decided to respect an agreement between EU-member states, which want to declare a clear pro-European attitude, and he doesn't want his [originally planned] absence to be viewed as a dishonour to EU structures," stated the PM’s press department. Fico previously announced that he would not attend the ceremony due to urgent duties. President Ivan Gašparovič is not attending, as he is making an official visit to the Czech Republic. The European Union was awarded the Peace Prize this year for 60 years of contributing towards peace, democracy and the observance of human rights in Europe.
After returning to Slovakia, Fico spoke to the SITA newswire, calling his last-minute change of mind correct. He admitted that the Nobel Peace Prize might provoke some questions but he pointed to the words of EU President Herman van Rompuy, that the EU has seen quiet without any military conflict since 1945 enables everyone to concentrate on solving current big issues. Fico did not want to comment for SITA on the decision of some countries not to participate in the Nobel ceremony.
(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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