Today I announced the opening of the Australian Embassy in Estonia in the presence of Estonia’s Foreign Minister Sven Mikser at a meeting in New York. I also announced the appointment of Ms Kerin Ayyalaraju as Australia’s Ambassador to Estonia.

In an Australian first, the ‘pop-up post’ will operate as an Embassy representing an innovative approach to expanding Australia’s diplomatic network. It will operate in Tallinn for two months of the year and will have a virtual presence for the remainder of the year.

Australia and Estonia share a commitment to the international rules-based order, and a close relationship grounded in common values and strong people-to-people links.

Estonia is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. The new Embassy will develop our engagement on cyber, e-government and digital transformation, and support Australia’s involvement in a number of high-level events on these issues.

Ms Ayyalaraju is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Chargé d’Affaires, Australian Embassy, Lisbon. In Canberra, Ms Ayyalaraju has served as Director, Consular and Crisis Management Division; and Director, New Colombo Plan Secretariat, DFAT. She has previously served overseas as Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Ankara; Deputy Head of Post, Australian Consulate-General, Shanghai; and Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Abu Dhabi.

Ms Ayyalaraju holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University.

I thank non-resident Ambassador to Estonia (accredited from Stockholm) Mr Jonathan Kenna for his contributions to the bilateral relationship since 2016.

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