AUSTRALIA has a new ambassador to Israel, with Paul Griffiths this week formally announced as our next man on the ground in the Holy Land.
A senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Griffiths’ most recent overseas posting was minister-counsellor in Washington. He has previously served overseas in Jakarta, Manila and Seoul.
He said he was “excited to work on Australia’s flourishing bilateral relationship with Israel”, and hoped to “continue the excellent work done by my predecessor Chris Cannan”.
— Governor of Victoria (@VicGovernor) October 6, 2020
Announcing the appointment on Sunday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne thanked Cannan “for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Israel since 2017”.
“Australia and Israel have a close relationship underpinned by strong historical connections and significant people-to-people links,” she said.
“Australia’s vibrant and active Jewish community has made an enduring contribution to the warmth of the bilateral relationship.”
Noting Australia and Israel have developed “substantial cooperation” over the last seven decades, Payne cited recently increased engagement on innovation and technology, and enhanced defence and security links between the two nations.
Dear Israel, I’ve only been here ten or so days, but I will never get tired of this. Magic every day. Stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/XfhlRGInyY
— Paul Griffiths ???????? (@AusAmbIsrael) October 3, 2020
“We also have a growing trade and investment relationship, driven by Australia’s innovation Landing Pad in Tel Aviv and our Trade and Defence Office in Jerusalem,” she added.
Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) president Jeremy Leibler said, “We wish Paul the best of luck for his new role and look forward to continuing the close working relationship the ZFA has with the Australian embassy.
“I look forward to engaging with Paul on a diverse range of issues, including connecting with Australian olim and Israel programs participants, developing even more innovative partnerships between Australia and Israel and of course, promoting bilateral political engagement.”