Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák assured the public on Thursday, February 28, that his ministry is doing all it can to help Slovak citizens who find themselves in difficult situations abroad, referring to dozens of cases of which the ministry is aware. He was speaking during a visit by EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton to Bratislava. Lajčák expressed his thanks to Ashton for her engagement in the case of Adam Azab, a boy who was kidnapped by his Egyptian father from his Slovak mother over four years ago and taken to Egypt.
According to the TASR newswire, Lajčák described the Azab case as complicated, but promised that the ministry "won't give up on it". He claimed that the authority of Ashton, the EU and the co-operation of the Slovak and EU missions raise hope that the Azab case will end successfully. However, Adam’s mother, Katarina Azab, said that Ashton had promised last year to intervene in her son's case, but that nothing had happened since then, the Sme daily reported on Friday, March 1. The mother reportedly said that the Slovak Foreign Ministry had not done anything recently either to force the Egyptian branch of Interpol to search for Adam or his father, who is wanted under an international warrant.
Ashton discussed Azab's case with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in September 2012, TASR wrote. She said on Thursday that her office is in permanent contact with the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry. "Our delegation is closely co-operating with the Slovak Embassy in Egypt," Ashton said, adding that the EU cares about the lives of individuals.
Adam was kidnapped by his father Ahmed during a holiday in Egypt in 2008. Despite continuous efforts by his mother and the involvement of a number of politicians and NGOs, Adam's whereabouts are still unknown. Both Slovak and Egyptian courts have awarded Katarina Azab custody of her son.
Sources: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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