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Minister Lajčák receives the Apostolic Nuncio and Ambassador of the Netherlands

Minister Lajčák receives the Apostolic Nuncio and Ambassador of the Netherlands

6.7.2017 | Aktivity ministra | |

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, received the Apostolic Nuncio designate of the Holy See to the Slovak Republic, Monsignor Giacomo Guido Ottonello, on the occasion of his assumption of office, today (6 July) in the premises of the diplomacy department.


In the conversation the minister appreciated the personal engagement and professional approach by the departed Nuncio, Monsignor Mario Giordano, and expressed hope that the rich diplomatic experience of Ottonello will foster the ongoing development of the traditionally very good relations between the Slovak Republic and the Vatican. The new Apostolic Nuncio is an experienced diplomat who served for Vatican diplomatic missions in Pakistan, El Salvador, Lebanon, France, Spain, Poland, Panama and Ecuador.


Minister Lajčák emphasized that the Slovak government seeks the best relations with Vatican, a constructive and open cooperation, and pointed out that it would be very good if the excellent standard of our relations could be also demonstrated by a visit by one of the top Vatican dignitaries in Slovakia. The minister also expressed his hope that the draft Agreement on mutual recognition of academic degrees that is intended to recognize academic degrees of those who graduated from the Papal universities and foster academic mobility will be finalized in the foreseeable future.


Minister Lajčák then received the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Slovakia, Henk van der Kwast, and discussed the timely European agenda and Slovakia’s ambitions. The minister emphasized that Slovakia is a strongly pro-EU country as also attested by citizens’ high support rate for Slovakia’s ongoing EU membership as shown in public opinion polls. Lajčák stated that we have been engaging in extraordinarily important relations with the Netherlands that have even become more intensive during our Presidency of the Council of the EU, at all levels including the working one with expert consultations and the two acknowledged that SK PRES was extraordinarily successful (the Netherlands and Malta were the presidency Trio alongside Slovakia). We share the same positions also with regard to the Brexit negotiations where our foremost emphasis is on the rights of EU citizens and also on the issue of financial settlement, and we jointly acknowledge that that the basic task now is maintaining unity among the EU countries vis-a-vis their relation to the United Kingdom. “Being outside the EU must be less convenient than staying within its framework,” stated Lajčák.


Both ambassadors presented copies of their credentials to the minister in the conclusion of their meetings.