Today I announce the appointment of Mr Geoffrey Tooth as Australia’s next Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Australia and Afghanistan enjoy a strong friendship based on a shared commitment to improving the security and lives of the Afghan people, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Australia has provided $1.5 billion in development assistance to Afghanistan since 2001, promoting economic growth, more effective governance, and the empowerment of women and girls.

The Australian Defence Force contributes to Afghanistan’s security through its participation in the NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces. Recent efforts to engage all parties in dialogue to end the long conflict in Afghanistan are encouraging and we look forward to a broad and inclusive peace process to ensure Afghanistan does not again become a haven for international terrorism.

Mr Tooth is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was most recently Assistant Secretary, ASEAN and Regional Architecture Branch. He has previously served overseas as Head of Mission, Australian High Commission, Nairobi; Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Seoul; and Counsellor, Australian High Commission, Port Moresby.

Mr Tooth holds a Master of International Relations from Deakin University; and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Tasmania.

I thank outgoing Ambassador Nicola Gordon-Smith for her contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Afghanistan since January 2018.

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