Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Mr Dave Sharma as Australia's next Ambassador to Israel. Mr Sharma is expected to take up his appointment in June 2013, replacing Ms Andrea Faulkner.
Mr Sharma is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Assistant Secretary in the Africa Branch, and previously, Acting First Assistant Secretary, International Division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Mr Sharma's prior international service includes postings as Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Washington, Third Secretary at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby and as Senior Civilian Adviser with the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville.
Mr Sharma was also an Adviser to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer from 2004 – 2006.
Mr Sharma holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Deakin University. Mr Sharma will be accompanied to Israel by his wife Rachel and their three daughters.
Australia has been a strong supporter of the State of Israel since its establishment, and was one of the first countries to grant official recognition and to establish diplomatic relations. The Australian Embassy in Israel opened in 1949.
Australia recognises that Israel's long-term security requires a comprehensive, durable Middle East peace settlement. Australia supports a negotiated two-state solution, with an independent, viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.
Australia and Israel enjoy a significant trade relationship worth more than $900 million a year. Australian exports to Israel include coal, meat and aluminium, with imports including gems, manufactured items and telecommunications equipment.
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