MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA9

28 January 1999

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador To United Arab Emirates

I have announced today the appointment of Mr John Hines as Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Hines will replace Mr George Atkin, who, as Ambassador in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has held non-resident accreditation as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates since July 1998. Mr Hines's appointment follows the decision by the Government to re-open Australia's Embassy in Abu Dhabi after a period of some 13 years. (The Embassy had closed following a review of our overseas resources).

Australia and the United Arab Emirates enjoy long-standing and friendly relations, underpinned by expanding defence, education, sporting and cultural exchanges. Over 2,000 Australians reside in the United Arab Emirates and more than 50 Australian companies have established offices in the country.

The re-opening of our Embassy in Abu Dhabi reflects the Government's recognition of the strategic importance and influence of the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. It also underlines the determination of the Government to maximise commercial opportunities for the increasing numbers of Australian companies operating there. The United Arab Emirates is our largest trading partner in the Middle East region. Exports to the United Arab Emirates reached $1.065 billion in 1997-98 - a 60 per cent rise on the previous year. The United Arab Emirates is Australia's second largest customer for passenger motor vehicles and an important market for alumina and food products. The United Arab Emirates is a potentially significant source of investment for Australia.

Mr Hines was born in Sydney in 1947 and joined the then Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in 1969. Since 1998 he has been the Assistant Secretary, Middle East and Africa Branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His most recent overseas appointment was as Counsellor and Consul General at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, where he served from 1995 to 1998. Earlier overseas appointments in Australian missions have been in Singapore (1985-89), The Hague (1978-80), Nairobi (1976-78), Lima (1973-75) and Buenos Aires (1971-73).

In Canberra Mr Hines was Director, Arabian Peninsular, Iran and Iraq Section from 1991 to 1994. Other senior appointments in Canberra have been as Director, Consular Policy Section and Director, Budget Operations Section.

Mr Hines is a graduate of the Australian Joint Services Staff College. He is married to Christine and they have a daughter, Yvette and a son, John.

Mr Hines is expected to take up his appointment in May 1999.

For further information: 

Minister -Geoff Leach 02 6277 5001 / 04 1920 6890
Department - Kirk Coningham 02 6261 1555/56


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:36:44 EST

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