The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA3 - 15 January 2003

Council for Australian-Arab Relations

I have today announced the membership of the Council for Australian-Arab Relations.

The Trade Minister and I announced the formation of the Council on 30 December 2002 in response to the report by the Joint Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade entitled Australia's relations with the Middle East.

The Council will serve the national interest by enhancing Australia's economic, political, cultural and social links with Arab countries.

I welcome the appointment of Mr Brendan Stewart, Chairman of AWB Limited, as Council Chair. Mr Stewart's leadership qualities, experience and expertise on Australia-Arab commercial relations will be invaluable.

The other Council members, drawn from business, government, academia and the Australian Arab communities, will be:

The Council will hold its first meeting in March.

Media inquiries: Andrew Park (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500 / Julie McDonald (Departmental) +61 02 6261 1555