M100

28 August 1995

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: Ambassador to Lebanon

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Mr Ian Parmeter as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon. Mr Parmeter will be the first resident Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon since February 1984.

Senator Evans said the re-opening of the Australian Embassy in Beirut on 18 July 1995 was a tangible sign of the importance which the Australian Government attaches to the bilateral relationship, of the confidence of the Government in the political arrangements in place in Lebanon, and of the social and economic reconstruction which is under way.

He said the resumed Australian Government presence will assist in adding substance to the bilateral relationship. Australia is home to about 200,000 people of Lebanese descent, around 70,000 of whom were born in Lebanon, providing a natural bridge between the two countries.

Mr Parmeter is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1976 after working as a journalist in Canberra and London. He has served in Australian Embassies in Jeddah, Damascus and Beirut, and from 1987 to 1990 he was Senior Middle East Analyst with the Office of National Assessments in Canberra. Mr Parmeter is currently Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Moscow.

Mr Parmeter is expected to take up his appointment in January 1996. He will succeed Mr Paul Robilliard, who has been Ambassador to Lebanon resident in Damascus.

CANBERRA