Ljubljana – Seasoned diplomat Stanislav Vidovič was recalled prematurely from the post of ambassador to the US today to become the country’s new ambassador to Ireland. It is not yet clear who will succeed him in Washington, DC.
The decree to post him to Dublin was signed by President Borut Pahor and published in the Official Gazette, while the Foreign Ministry told the STA on Monday that the procedure to appoint a new ambassador to the US was still ongoing.
“In line with the standard procedure, it is confidential until the approval of the state to which the ambassador is posted is received.”
Vidovič’s replacement in the US has been speculated about for months, with media reports suggesting he would be posted to the recently reopened embassy in Dublin.
With Ireland gaining in importance due to Brexit, Slovenia reopened the embassy in July after abolishing it amid the financial crisis in 2012.
Vidovič was posted to Washington in June 2017, just before the arbitration tribunal announced its decision on the Slovenia-Croatia border.
Media reports suggested his predecessor left a few months earlier so that Vidovič could settle in before the arbitration decision and help it implement or lobby for it.
He came to the US from the post of the Foreign Ministry’s secretary general.
In 2009-2013 he was ambassador to Slovakia, before which he headed the ministry’s NATO department and the sector for security policy.
He served as deputy mission head at the Slovenian Embassy at NATO in Brussels in 1998-2003.
As the ambassador to the US, Vidovič came under fire from members of the Democrats (SDS).
In 2017, MP Žan Mahnič, who is now a state secretary at PM Janez Janša’s office, said Vidovič should not have become ambassador to the US and alleged Slovenia’s relations with the US were increasingly worse as a result.
Top-level ties with the US were rather scarce until Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Slovenia in August in what was the first visit by a US secretary of state after 1997.