Australia named new ambassadors for Lebanon and Peru

New Consuls-General in Canada and Brazil are also appointed

BYYasir Rehman


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Australia has appointed new ambassadors for Lebanon and Peru and new Consuls-General in Canada and Brazil.

Career diplomat Andrew Barnes has been appointed as Australia’s next Ambassador to Lebanon who has previously served overseas as Deputy Head of Mission in Hanoi, High Commissioner to Ghana and in Ottawa and Stockholm.

“Australia and Lebanon enjoy a longstanding relationship underpinned by strong community and cultural links that span multiple generations”, foreign minister Marise Payne said in a statement on Monday.

There are more than 200,000 Australians of Lebanese heritage and many thousands of Australians live in or visit Lebanon every year.

Another career officer Ms Maree Ringland has been appointed as Australia’s next Ambassador to Peru. Ms Ringland will also be accredited to Bolivia.

Australia and Peru have a strong and growing relationship, including collaborating in multilateral forums such as the United Nations and World Trade Organisation.

Nearly 90 Australian companies are now represented in Peru with over $5 billion in investment. The Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in February 2020, is opening substantial new trade and investment opportunities for Australia in one of the fastest growing economies of the region.

Australia enjoys a cooperative and friendly relationship with Bolivia, with shared interests in mining, agriculture and empowering women and Indigenous people.

Ms Ringland has previously served overseas in Beijing; and as Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Santiago de Chile. In Canberra she served in a wide range of corporate, consular and regional trade roles within DFAT.

Senator Payne also announced the appointment of new Consuls-General in Canada and Brazil, with a focus on strengthening trade and investment ties with these commercial centres of global importance.

Mr Josh Riley takes up the role of Consul-General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner in Toronto, and Mr John Prowse will take up the role of Consul-General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner in São Paulo.

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