Today I announce the appointment of Dr Axel Wabenhorst as Australia's first resident Ambassador to Qatar.

Australia has a friendly and fast-developing bilateral relationship with Qatar, underpinned by strong commercial ties. Australia's goods and services trade with Qatar was $1.75 billion in 2014-15, and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is a valued source of foreign direct investment in Australia.

Dr Wabenhorst will establish the new Australian Embassy in Doha. The appointment of Australia's first resident Ambassador to Qatar recognises the existing strong foundations of the bilateral relationship and will provide greater opportunities to develop the relationship further.

Dr Wabenhorst is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was previously Director in the Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation Branch. He has served overseas as Deputy Head of Mission, Tehran with earlier postings in Riyadh and Baghdad.

In Canberra, Dr Wabenhorst has served as the DFAT Liaison Officer at the Australian Headquarters Joint Operations Command; and Director, UN Security Council Task Force.

Dr Wabenhorst holds a BSc (Hons) majoring in Pure Mathematics from Monash University and a DPhil in Computer Science from Oxford University. He speaks Arabic, German and Farsi.

Media enquiries

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