Today I announce the appointment of Mr Marc Innes-Brown PSM as Australia’s next Ambassador to Turkey with non-resident accreditation to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Our enduring relationship with Turkey is grounded in our shared experience at the Gallipoli battles of World War I, and covers a broad range of areas including ANZAC commemorations, cooperation on counter-terrorism and participation in the MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia) Forum.

Australia and Turkey also enjoy close people-to-people links, with some 67,000 Australians claiming Turkish ancestry. Our economic relationship continues to strengthen, with two-way trade between Australia and Turkey growing by 14.6 per cent in 2015-16, to total almost $1.5 billion.

We enjoy positive bilateral relations with both Georgia and Azerbaijan, this year celebrating 25 years of diplomatic ties. Australia is firmly committed to Georgia’s and Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We cooperate on international security through participation in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

Mr Innes-Brown is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently First Assistant Secretary, Middle East and Africa Division. In Canberra Mr Innes-Brown has held a range of positions in DFAT, including as Assistant Secretary, Middle East Branch, and Assistant Secretary, Iraq Taskforce. He has previously served overseas as Australia’s Ambassador to Iran and Ambassador to Iraq.

Mr Innes-Brown holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Arts (Political Science) from the University of Hawaii. He is expected to take up his appointment in July 2017.

We thank outgoing Ambassador James Larsen for his significant contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Turkey since 2014.

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