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Slovak politicians thank Obama, wish success to Donald Trump

Top Slovak politicians and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs react to the inauguration of new US President, Donald Trump, while also summing up the work of his predecessor Barack Obama.

Donald Trump(Source: AP/SITA)

Barack Obama deserves our thanks for his sincere efforts to make the world a better place, Slovak President Andrej Kiska posted on his Twitter account on the day of inauguration, January 20. Meanwhile, Kiska wished a successful term in office to Trump.

If Donald Trump fulfills pledges he made during his election campaign, the change of the US president might be positive, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said in connection with the inauguration. Fico wishes that Trump’s idea of having good ties between the US and Russia comes true.

“If there is a balance between super powers, there is more stability in the world,” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He was also curious about whether Trump’s words on lowering the involvement and military presence of the USA in Europe will come true. “If it happens, we’ll have to say what we’re going to do, whether we, for example, build our own army. We’ll simply have to react," he added.

Fico admitted that it will be interesting to watch what the European Union will do if Trump decides to scrap sanctions against Russia. “Then it will show to what extent we [the EU] are or are not the flunkies of the US,” stated Fico, adding that he finds the sanctions senseless.

FAM and opposition reacting, too

The Foreign Ministry voiced its determination to continue the further development of mutual ties with US, as well as to bolster the Trans-Atlantic partnership necessary to maintain stability, security and democracy in a broader Euro-Atlantic context.

“We congratulate the incoming president and wish him much strength and success in exercising his challenging mandate,” the ministry wrote according to TASR, adding that the US is a strategic partner and one of the closest allies to Slovakia, with successful cooperation taking place in many spheres – from modernisation of the Slovak Armed Forces and support of stability in crisis-prone parts of the world to economic and business cooperation. The most crucial part of the bilingual tie is the shared NATO membership. Furthermore, the ministry stated that Slovakia supports talks on EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in the spirit of mutual benefits, economic growth and improvement of standards.

The new American President Donald Trump must be responsible in office, coalition Most-Híd party chairman and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Béla Bugár posted on Facebook, adding that he needs to overcome the shadow of populism and unpredictability. “Trump’s unconventional attitude on many issues during the election campaign stirred concern from EU countries too,” he wrote, as quoted by TASR.

Parliamentary European affairs committee chairman Ľuboš Blaha (of Smer) feels sorry for Americans. “I’m sincerely sorry for ordinary Americans who will lose their health care,” he wrote on Facebook.

MEP Branislav Škripek (opposition OĽaNO-NOVA) expects the US to make a positive turn towards conservative and Christian values. He also expects NATO to survive. “European countries will have to accept that they cannot be only fare dodgers, but that they have to financially contribute to their own defence capacities,” Škripek posted on Facebook. He hopes that Trump will be a “strong and respected partner for the Russian president”.

MEP Ivan Štefanec (now non-parliamentary KDH) pointed to the fact that many European leaders are concerned about Trump’s unpredictability and isolationism. “Nevertheless, I see it as a chance for the EU to become more confident and coherent,” he wrote on his Facebook profile.

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