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

Media Release

11 September 2007

Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to Kuwait

Mr Glenn Miles is to be Australia’s new Ambassador to the State of Kuwait. Mr Miles will replace Dr Ralph King who has been Ambassador since December 2004, when Australia opened its embassy in Kuwait City. Mr Miles is expected to take up his position in December 2007.

Kuwait is an important strategic partner for Australia in the Middle East region. Australia and Kuwait cooperate effectively in military and security affairs, building on the strong relationship developed through Australia’s contribution to the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Kuwait also plays a key role in the area of arms control and counter-proliferation in its region.

Australia’s warm bilateral relations with the State of Kuwait have been further expanded and strengthened through commercial linkages. Australian trade with Kuwait is substantial and growing, with excellent potential for further growth in commodities and manufactures, services and investment. Australian exports to Kuwait reached $524 million in 2006, principally comprising motor vehicles, live animals and dairy products. Imports from Kuwait totalled $212 million in 2006, including petroleum, oils and fertilizers. Over 3500 Kuwaitis visit Australia each year for the purposes of tourism, business and, increasingly, study. Australia looks forward to the early conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which Kuwait is a member.

Mr Miles is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Director of the Northern, Central and Eastern Europe Section of the Europe Division, a position he has held since January 2007.

Overseas, Mr Miles has served as Australia’s Representative in Ramallah (2003-06), as a member of the Baghdad post opening team (2003), First Secretary in Amman (2000-03) and as Second Secretary in Riyadh (1996-99). In Canberra, Mr Miles has worked in the Middle East and Africa Branch (1993-94) and the International Security Division (1999-2000).

Mr Miles is a graduate of Deakin University and speaks Arabic. Mr Miles is married with three children.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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