The Slovenia Times

Govt Asks President Pahor to Recall Ambassador to Australia



Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec indicated on Tuesday that the government will ask for recall of Balažic, saying that the "objective conditions allowing Balažic to continue performing his tasks in Australia are no longer fulfilled."

The move caps weeks of controversy over the invitation of convicted child sex offender Nicholas Oman, best known for his role as arms dealer in the early 1990s, to the opening of the consulate in Melbourne in March.

Oman's presence was met with outrage by the members of the Slovenian community in Australia, who have come out in force and demanded action from the Slovenian authorities.

Formally, Balažic's conduct constituted a breach of provisions of the act on foreign affairs that stipulate ambassadors must maintain good relations with Slovenian diaspora organisations.

Milan Balažic was appointed ambassador in mid-2011 after serving as the Foreign Ministry spokesman in the Borut Pahor government. He also covered New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia as the ambassador to Australia.

Balažic is likely to become the fourth Slovenian ambassador to be recalled in Slovenia's 23-year history as an independent nation.

Nataša Vodušek was recalled as the ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2008 for causing a car accident. Two ambassadors were recalled in 2010 for violating the foreign affairs act - Ambassador to Egypt Borut Mahnič and Ambassador to Spain Peter Reberc.


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