Today I announce the appointment of Mr Jonathan Gilbert as Australia's next Ambassador to Kuwait.
Australia and Kuwait have a strong relationship based on increasing trade and investment, and a shared commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East. Our close defence ties reflect Australia's contribution to the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 and current cooperation in the international Coalition to Defeat ISIL.
Kuwait is Australia's second-largest source of investment from the Middle East at over $15 billion, and two-way trade between Australia and Kuwait reached $751 million in 2016. Our people-to-people links are growing, with over 1000 Australians residing in Kuwait, and the longstanding presence of Australian-linked education providers, the Australian College of Kuwait and Box Hill College of Kuwait, has assisted the expansion of educational links and promotion of Australia as an education destination.
Mr Gilbert is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Baghdad. In Canberra, he has served as Team Leader, Staffing Operations Section; Assistant Director, India Political Section; and Assistant Director, Strategic and Defence Policy Section. He previously served overseas as First Secretary at the Australian Embassy, Manila.
Mr Gilbert holds a Master of International Studies and a Bachelor of Economics (Social Sciences) from the University of Sydney.
I thank outgoing Ambassador Warren Hauck for his contribution to advancing Australia's interests in Kuwait since 2015.
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