Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák delivered his resignation to President Andrej Kiska on the morning of November 30.
Still, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini hopes he can talk Lajčák out of resigning, he told journalists during his press briefing, expressing his regret over Lajčák’s decision and calling him a “professional, top, world-class diplomat”.
He also said Lajčák would make an excellent presidential candidate.
Lajčák and Pellegrini are to officially meet on Monday, December 3.
Slovakia to stay with the west
Pellegrini noted the concerns among the public about the future foreign policy orientation of Slovakia, following Lajčák’s decision to resign due to a conflict over the UN Migration Pact.
“The space for our life and our values is the EU and the security of our country is linked with our NATO membership,” Pellegrini told journalists, and added he will “never allow” Slovakia to leave this space.
PM puts national interest above personal integrity
The prime minister declared the debate about the Migration Pact, which resulted in Lajčák’s resignation, a closed case that “we should not return to”.
At the same time, he says he understands Lajčák’s personal decision after he announced his stance on the pact. But he added that it should not be an issue that drives a top representative of the foreign policy out of the ministerial chair.
Pellegrini insists he will take the weekend to persuade Lajčák to reconsider his step and take the nation's interests into account. Slovakia needs a strong diplomat on the helm of its diplomacy now that it is about to take over the OSCE presidency on January 1, 2019.
“National interests, unfortunately, sometimes need to come before maintaining personal integrity,” Pellegrini said.
Who will replace Lajčák?
Pellegrini hopes Lajčák will withdraw his resignation and refused to speculate who could replace him. He said that the only decent replacement for Lajčák would be another “top, professional diplomat” who has been active in diplomacy for many years.
He did not directly answer the question whether Smer leader Robert Fico would fulfill such a description. Last week, Denník N daily cited sources from within the party that said Fico is considered a potential replacement for Lajčák.
Pellegrini said there are several such diplomats in Slovakia who could be fit for the post.
30. Nov 2018 at 12:18 | Michaela Terenzani