Pellegrini: I Disagree with Lajcak’s Resignation and Will Adjure him to Stay

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Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini. (Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 30 (TASR) – Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) doesn’t agree with the resignation of Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (a Smer-SD nominee) and will attempt to persuade Lajcak to reconsider his decision, TASR learnt on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference, Pellegrini announced that he plans to meet with Lajcak on Monday (December 3). According to Pellegrini, the UN Global Compact on Migration is not a reason for such a distinguished representative of Slovak diplomacy to resign, also pointing to the tasks awaiting Slovakia in foreign affairs.

“I’ll try to settle this dispute. I don’t want to lose him. I’ll adjure him to stay. I can’t imagine who else would wield the sceptre of OSCE Presidency or start addressing the situation between Russia and Ukraine,” declared Pellegrini, who wants to talk with Lajcak also throughout the weekend.

If Lajcak won’t reconsider his resignation, only a well-respected and professional diplomat could replace him. “The only way for Slovakia to go will be a top-notch diplomat. I can’t nominate someone who lacks the experience of minister Lajcak,” stressed Pellegrini, who nonetheless didn’t want to comment on names emerging in this context, such as ex-premier Robert Fico or Pellegrini’s foreign affairs advisor Peter Kmec.

“There’s more people in Slovakia who could serve as good foreign affairs ministers. But I’ll do my utmost to keep Lajcak at the helm of the ministry for as long as possible,” said Pellegrini.

The Prime Minister also declared that Slovakia won’t deviate from its pro-European and pro-Atlantic orientation, even if Lajcak were to leave. “We share our values with the EU and the security of our country is anchored in our NATO membership. Even our economy is tied to successful Western economies. I’ll never allow us to leave this economic and value-oriented space, which creates the leeway for our prosperity,” added Pellegrini.

When asked whether foreign affairs policy isn’t informed by Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko instead of the foreign minister, Pellegrini replied that foreign policy has been and will be carried out by the Government.

As for the UN Global Compact on Migration and the related talks in Marrakesh, Pellegrini reiterated that Slovakia will convey its official position via a letter. “We’re not going there; we’ll send a letter. Slovakia will send a message as to what it thinks about the document, in the same fashion as other countries,” he added.