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Minister says ambassador shuffle part of regular rotation

TEN Slovak ambassadors abroad should be recalled and replaced, the cabinet decided at its session on March 12.

TEN Slovak ambassadors abroad should be recalled and replaced, the cabinet decided at its session on March 12.

Opposition politician Richard Sulík accused the government that the change of ambassadors before the presidential election, just in time for the incumbent President Ivan Gašparovič to approve their appointment, saying it indicates that Prime Minister Robert Fico fears losing the presidential election, the TASR newswire reported.

The government however maintains that the replacement of ambassadors has nothing to do with the upcoming presidential election.

"Should I be criticised for doing my job?” Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said. “Slovakia has some seventy ambassadors abroad and their mission usually lasts four years. Let's calculate from these figures that some seventeen should be replaced annually - and it is exactly what I am doing."

All candidates proposed for new ambassadors are career diplomats and employees of the foreign department, Lajčák noted.

"If somebody would want to see something in it because I do not doubt that such people will appear, then I want to assure that the process lasts several weeks," he said as quoted by SITA, adding that all ambassadors will leave for their new posts with credentials from the newly elected president.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
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