Today I announce the appointment of Mr Glenn Miles as Australia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon.

Australia enjoys warm bilateral relations with Lebanon, underpinned by strong community and cultural links. Australia is home to many people of Lebanese descent and thousands of Australians live in Lebanon.

The Australian Government is a strong advocate of Lebanon’s sovereignty and of efforts to build an enduring peace in the Middle East region. I visited Lebanon in April to highlight Australia’s continuing support during a period of heightened insecurity in the region.

We have provided $135.8 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Syria conflict to provide shelter, food, water and sanitation, health and medical services. This includes $71.3 million to help refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries, including Lebanon.

Lebanon’s economic development provides opportunities for growth in trade and commercial ties. Lebanon’s prospective oil and gas industry – as well as its growing demand for education, infrastructure development and financial services – offers particular opportunities for Australian companies.

Mr Miles is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Acting High Commissioner to Fiji and High Commissioner to Tuvalu for nearly three years. He has also served as Ambassador to Kuwait and Australia’s Representative in Ramallah, with earlier postings in Amman and Riyadh. Mr Miles was a member of the Baghdad Embassy opening team in 2003 and served with the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville. Mr Miles is a graduate of Deakin University and speaks Arabic. He is married with three children.

Mr Miles is expected to take up his appointment in January 2015. I thank former Ambassador Lex Bartlem for his valuable work in strengthening Australia’s relations with Lebanon.

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