Slovak PM urges minister who quit over UN migration pact to reconsider

Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini attends a press conference after the “Friends of Cohesion” High Level Meeting at Bratislava castle, in Bratislava on November 29, 2018. (Photo by DIANA CERNAK / AFP)Slovakia’s prime minister said on Friday he wants his foreign minister to stay on after Miroslav Lajcak tendered his resignation over Bratislava’s rejection of the United Nations migration pact.
A non-partisan nominee of the governing populist-left Smer-SD party, Lajcak backs the UN migration pact set to be adopted during a conference in Morocco on December 10-11.
“I can confirm that Miroslav Lajcak informed me that he sent his resignation to the President of the Slovak Republic,” PM Peter Pellegrini told journalists on Friday.

Pellegrini, also from the Smer-SD, said he would try to persuade Lajcak to stay.
“I will do everything to reverse this situation,” he said but added that Slovakia would not backtrack on its rejection of the pact.
This week the EU member became the latest state to either disavow or withdraw from the pact that is focused on promoting cooperation to deal with the world’s growing migrant flows.
It has been targeted by right-wing politicians who denounce it as an affront to their countries’ national sovereignty.
The United States quit negotiations early on, in December, and was followed by Hungary seven months later.
Since then, other naysayers include Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Israel, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland.
Robert Krpelan, a spokesman for Slovak President Andrej Kiska, said Friday that Lajcak was to meet the head of state on Tuesday after seeing Pellegrini the day before.
According to local media, powerful Smer party leader and former prime minister Robert Fico is among the contenders to succeed Lajcak should he go.
Fico was forced to resign in March, following nationwide protests triggered by the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak who was probing alleged high-level corruption.
Fico, who has no diplomatic experience, has refused to comment on whether he was eyeing the top diplomatic post.
A career diplomat, Lajcak has served as foreign minister since 2012. He also held the post between 2009 and 2010 and served as president of the UN General Assembly between September 2017 and 2018.

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