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Minister Lajčák met with the head of the Vatican diplomacy

Minister Lajčák met with the head of the Vatican diplomacy

13.11.2012 | Aktivity ministra |

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák has started his two-day official visit to the Holy See today (November 13, 2012) on the occasion of the upcoming 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Sts. Cyril and Methodius to our territory and the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. He met with the Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States Monsignor Dominique Mamberti in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican. During their meeting, they confirmed that the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations serves as a good opportunity to review the results achieved in bilateral cooperation, as well as to identify new opportunities in developing further dialogue at a bilateral and multilateral level – looking ahead, too, to the upcoming Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union at the European level as well. They evaluated the current state of bilateral cooperation between the Slovak Republic and the Holy See, as well as between the state and the Catholic Church in Slovakia, and discussed opportunities for its further deepening, also in the area of the Roma reform under preparation. Special attention was paid to the preparation of state and religious celebrations of the Jubilee Year of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Slovakia officially opened by the Slovak Bishops´ Conference on July 5. “Let me express the firm support of the Government of the Slovak Republic vis-à-vis the invitation of President Ivan Gašparovič and the Slovak Bishops´ Conference for Pope Benedict XVI to the apostolic journey to Slovakia,” stated Minister Lajčák. He also conveyed the official invitation of Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Robert Fico for Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal State of Secretary of the Holy See, to visit Slovakia in 2013. They also discussed completing the bilateral contractual basis and the considered measures of the Slovak Government to alleviate the negative impacts of the global crisis on the lives of the people of the Slovak Republic, including a possible change of the currently valid regime of celebrating state and religious holidays. “We are interested in launching an expert discussion on concluding the bilateral agreement on mutual recognition of certificates of education,” was the message Minister Lajčák conveyed to him. They also focused on protection of minority Christian communities in the crisis regions, developments in the Western Balkans and Syria, as well as the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries.

Before the talks held in Vatican, Minister Lajčák visited the Pontifical Slovak College of Sts. Cyril and Methodius the Pontifical Slovak Institute of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the latter of which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its establishment next year. Meeting with Monsignor Vladimír Stahovec, Rector of the Pontifical Slovak College and Institute of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and with Slovak pontifical universities in Rome, Lajčák highly appreciated irreplaceable contribution of the Institute for Slovakia and the Slovak people. He also spoke about the new opportunities for cooperation with the Government of the Slovak Republic in maintaining culture, traditions, and a language of compatriots living abroad, and in creating favorable conditions for systematic research of Slovak historians in the Vatican Library and Archives.

In the afternoon, the head of Slovak diplomacy is going to give a lecture on “The Future of the European Union – prospects for the European project” at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in attendance of representatives of the Roman Curia, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, as well as academic officials and students of other pontifical universities. Aimed at identification of new impetuses for developing the mutual cooperation of the Slovak Republic and the Holy See and making Slovakia more visible and renowned abroad, Lajčák will also meet with Slovaks holding important functions in the structures of the Roman Curia - Cardinal Jozef Tomko, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Archbishop Cyril Vasiľ, Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Mons. Vladimír Stahovec, Rector of the Pontifical Slovak College and Institute of Sts. Cyril and Methodius; and Prof. Miroslav Konštanc Adam, Rector of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. Tomorrow (November 14, 2012), Minister Lajčák will meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the end of his general audience and visit Slovak broadcasting of Vatican Radio.

Miroslav Lajčák and Dominique Mamberti Miroslav Lajčák and Dominique Mamberti Miroslav Lajčák (L) Miroslav Lajčák (L)