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Open letter to Mr. Karl Erjavec, Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs

By Peter Tase

Dear Minister Erjavec, thank you for inviting me to attend the 2016 Bled Strategic Forum. I am a writer and a freelance journalist from Milwaukee, United States of America; my current research is focused on the bilateral relations of the United States with European Union countries and Latin American governments.  Since late 2015 I have embarked on a fascinating research project that is focused on the bilateral partnership between the United States and Slovenia, and I plan to publish a book that will promote this partnership.  Since my research is mainly focused on the bilateral cooperation between the governments of Ljubljana and Washington; in early January 2016, I reached out to the Ambassador of Slovenia to Washington, Dr. Božo Cerar, requesting an interview with you either in Bled or Ljubljana during the sidelines of the 2016 Bled Strategic Forum; I strongly believe that your thoughts and ideas are very important to my project.

On January 12th, Ambassador Cerar sent the following response to me:
“Dear Mr. Tase, Thank you for your interest to conduct an interview with the Minister of Foreign Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, H. E. Mr. Karl Erjavec. Due to the fact that it is still several months until the upcoming Bled Strategic Forum and that minister’s schedule is not set yet, I suggest we get in touch latter in August when minister’s schedule during the Bled Strategic Forum will be clearer.  Sincerely, Dr. Božo Cerar.”

I waited until July 9th, 2016, and sent another interview request to Ambassador Cerar, my note reads: “Dear Honorable Ambassador Božo Cerar, it gives me great pleasure to write to you again. I will be arriving to Ljubljana on September 3rd. I look forward to my interview with H. E. The Foreign Minister of Slovenia…I look forward to our visit to Slovenia…to attend the prestigious Bled Strategic Forum. Thank you so much for your hard work and leadership. Warm personal regards, Peter Tase.”  Surprisingly I received no response to this note.

Again, on August 27th, I sent the same e-mail (above) to the Ambassador of Slovenia in Washington.  On August 29th, I re-sent the same request to Mrs. Nuška Zakrajšek, in the same day Mrs. Zakrajšek responded: “Dear Mr. Tase, As mentioned in the reply to your e-mail on July 11, for the PR requests please turn directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The head of the department is Ms. Simona Vučak (pr.mzz@gov.si), whom I am CC-ing to this reply. With kind regards, Nuška Zakrajšek.”  On September 15, I received the following note from the Ambassador of Slovenia: “Dear Mr. Tase, Believe me, the embassy had informed the PR service of the ministry about your request. I am sorry that you did not received an answer from them. Sincerely yours, Dr. Božo Cerar.”

On September 16, Mrs. Teja Kastelic Merhar sent to me the following note: “Dear Mr Peter Tase, we will provide you an interview with someone from our economic diplomacy department. We will let you know the person and the contact. Best regards, Teja Kastelic Merhar.” Later on I received another message: “Dear Mr Peter Tase, you will be able to make an interview with Mr Franc But, head of Department for Bilateral Economic Cooperation. His contact number is: 01 478 2063. Best regards, Teja.”

On September 19th, I received this note from your ministry: “Dear Mr Peter Tase, I suggest that you coordinate interview with the minister´s PR department. Contact person is Ms Stanka Ritonja. I put her in CC.  Best regards, Teja”

Dear Minister Erjavec, I truly believe that a personal interview with Your Excellency would add a special meaning and value to my research work focused on Slovenia.  Indeed I am confused by all of these emails received by your ministry, please help me understand better the relations between Washington and Ljubljana, I am willing to travel to your country in order to meet with you.  Hope that you will accept my request and looking forward to hear from you soon.

Best regards, Peter

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Peter Tase

Peter Tase is a contributor, freelance journalist and a research scholar of International Affairs, Paraguayan Studies, Middle East Studies and Latin American Affairs, located in the United States. Educated at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government; Tase is the author of “Simultaneous Dictionary in Five Languages: Guarani, English, Italian, Albanian and Spanish” and “El Dr. FEDERICO FRANCO y Su Mandato Presidencial en la Historia del Paraguay.” He’s a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy News. His personal website is www.petertase.com

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