MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA5

23 January 1998

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA

I have today announced the appointment of Mr George Atkin as Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with non-resident accreditation to other countries of the Arabian Peninsula.

Mr Atkin will replace Mr Philip Knight, who has been Ambassador since April 1996.

Australia enjoys warm relations with Saudi Arabia, a strategically important country and one of our most substantial trading partners in the Middle East region. We also enjoy warm relations with the other countries of the Peninsula.

Mr Atkin was born in Newcastle NSW and educated at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, and the University of New England, Armidale, graduating Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History in 1968. He entered the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1972 and has served overseas in Nauru, Kuala Lumpur, Algiers, Jakarta and Port Moresby, where he was Deputy High Commissioner until November 1997. In addition to a range of placements in the Department in Canberra, Mr Atkin has also worked on secondment in the Office of National Assessments. Mr Atkin is married with four children.

Mr Atkin is expected to take up his appointment in March 1998.

For more information:

 

Innes Willox (Ministerial) 02 6277-7500

Kirk Coningham (Departmental) 02 6261-1555


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