Reporter of Vietnam News Agency in Sydney announced that Australia has appointed a diplomatic official to Jakarta as Australia’s first resident Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Mr Simon Merrifield’s confirmation as Australia’s first resident Ambassador to ASEAN followed the approval of his nomination by ASEAN Foreign Ministers. Mr Merrifield will be based in Jakarta and take up his appointment on September 20.
Mr Merrifield is a career diplomat with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and he has lived in Southeast Asian for a total of 13 years, including 3 years in Myanmar until 2011.
Merrifield has extensive previous experience in ASEAN countries, having served as Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia, First Secretary in Jakarta and Second Secretary in Manila.
Mr. Merrifield speaks Indonesian and Malay and is a graduate of the Australian National University’s Asian Studies program.
Ms Bishop said Australia and ASEAN have a long history of cooperation on trade, investment and people to people links./.