John Richardson Today I announce the appointment of Dr Greg French as Australia's next Ambassador to Italy, with non-resident accreditation to Albania, Libya and San Marino.

Australia and Italy’s close relationship is underpinned by longstanding people-to-people ties, strong education and tourism links, and cooperation in innovation and science. Our countries are also aligned on a range of geopolitical issues, including the fight against terrorism, and efforts in the G20 to strengthen global economic governance.

Italy is a significant economic market for Australia. Bilateral trade and investment continues to grow with major investments in both directions, particularly in the agrifood, banking, automotive and aeronautic sectors, and infrastructure projects.

The Australian Government supports Albania’s integration into Europe, a process which offers opportunities for expansion of economic links between our two countries, including in tourism.

We are a longstanding supporter of Libya’s transition to peace and stability. A strong, unified Libya is needed to counter the growing threat posed by terrorist groups in North Africa.

Australia values our cooperation with San Marino in multilateral fora, such as the United Nations, and we look forward to strengthening our relationship in other areas.

Dr French is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is currently Legal Adviser, International Legal Branch, a position he has held since 2009. He has previously served overseas as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and as First Secretary in Bonn.

Dr French holds Doctor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from Műnster University, Germany, in addition to Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Macquarie University.

I thank former Ambassador the Honourable Mike Rann for his strong contribution since 2014 in advancing Australia’s interests in Italy.

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