STA, 18 July 2019- Twelve new ambassadors have been formally appointed as part of a regular rotation at Slovenian diplomatic missions. Embassies in countries including France, Greece, Italy and the Holy See will get new leaderships this summer under orders signed by President Borut Pahor this week. The vast majority of the appointees are career diplomats.
The new ambassador to France is Metka Ipavic, a Foreign Ministry employee since 1992 who used to serve on the Slovenian mission to the EU and headed the ministry's sector for Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, the Foreign Ministry said.
Tomaž Kunstelj will be the new ambassador to Italy. He is currently Slovenia's envoy to the Holy See and used to serve as ambassador to Canada and secretary general at the Foreign Ministry.
Jakob Štunf, a Foreign Ministry employee since 2002, was named the new ambassador to the Holy See. Štunf had in the past served as deputy ambassador in Prague and a Foreign Ministry spokesman for EU affairs.
Matjaž Longar will take over at the embassy in Athens. He was previously the Ljubljana-based ambassador to Portugal and served as consul general in Klagenfurt.
Primož Šeligo will assume duties as ambassador to Turkey. A Foreign Ministry employee since 1992, he has served as ambassador to Russia and Ukraine.
Slovenia's embassy in Israel will be headed by Andreja Purkart Martinez, who currently heads the Eastern Europe sector at the Foreign Ministry and used to serve as deputy ambassador to Russia and held diplomatic postings in The Hague and Washington.
Gorazd Renčelj will take over in Brazil. A Foreign Ministry employee since 2004, he has previously served as national OECD coordinator and Finance Ministry state secretary.
His predecessor in Brasilia, Alain Brian Bergant, has been named ambassador to Argentina, his fourth ambassador posting after stints in Skopje and Tirana.
Gregor Presler is the new ambassador to Montenegro, having previously served as deputy ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina and held a number of mid-level positions at the Foreign Ministry.
Slovenia's permanent missions to international institutions will also be overhauled.
Erik Kopač, who served as the top foreign policy aide to the prime minister in the Miro Cerar government, will take over the permanent mission to NATO.
Andrej Slapničar, currently serving as ambassador to France, will head the mission to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, while Barbara Žvokelj will head the Vienna office in charge of liaising with the UN, OSCE and other organisations in the Austrian capital.
The appointments are a part of a regular rotation that will include a total of 26 diplomatic missions and come after new ambassadors to Ukraine and the UN office in Geneva have already been named.