MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA79

15 June 1998

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA

I have today announced the appointment of Dr Janet Gardiner as Australian Ambassador to Syria.

Dr Gardiner will replace Mr Jim Dollimore, who has been Ambassador since January 1996.

Syria is a key player in the Middle East region and Australia attaches great importance to Syria's involvement both in the Middle East Peace Process and in the resolution of other regional problems. Australia has a natural interest in seeking a successful outcome to the negotiations and will continue to follow developments in Syria closely.

Dr Gardiner will continue to work to develop the relationship with Syria, particularly the increasing opportunities for bilateral trade. Australia values its relations with Syria and looks forward to achieving a deeper dialogue on a range of political and economic issues.

Dr Gardiner joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1982. She has served in Belgrade (1983-1985), Hanoi as First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission (1989 - 1991) and from 1994-1998 as Counsellor/Deputy Head of Mission in Bonn. In Canberra from 1991 to 1992 she worked as a member of the Cambodia Task Force and 1992-1994 as Director, European Communities Section.

Dr Gardiner studied at the University of Melbourne and University of Tübingen (Germany) and holds an M.A. and Ph.D.

Dr Gardiner is expected to take up her appointment in July 1998.

For further information: 

Innes Willox 02 6277 7500 or 04 1141 4695


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