By Donald Pafko, Honorary Consul for the Slovak Republic
During the third week of September, the President of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Gasparovic, visited New York for purposes of attending sessions at the United Nations. While at the United Nations, President Gasparovic also attended the General Assembly meeting.
During his visit, a reception for the President was held at the home of the Slovak Ambassador to the United Nations, Milos Koterec. In attendance at this reception were many politicians, Slovak emissaries, diplomats, as well as Honorary Consuls of Slovakia in the US. The reception was hosted by the Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Koterec, as well as the Slovak Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Peter Burian. During the course of this reception President Gasparovic conducted a private audience with the Slovak Honoroary Consuls, of which I am one of twelve. Spouses of the Consuls were also invited to this private audience, so my wife Jeanette was able to attend. During this private audience with the President, he discussed many issues including Slovak/Hungarian relations, dual citizenship, economy, and other issues of interest to the Honorary Consuls. We were all impressed with the President’s candor, his grasp of the issues and his political acumen.
As a finale to his visit the President attended a Slovak festival in New Jersey. This festival is a gala event which is held annually and many Honorary Consuls as well as Slovak delegates accompanied the President to New Jersey.
It was an honor to have President Gasparovic visit the USA and we will be equally honored in November when Prime Minister Iveta Radicova is scheduled to visit Washington, DC. and the Slovak Embassy. Prime Minister Radicova is the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic