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Australia appoints new ambassador to Zim

The Australian government has appointed Ms Minoli Perera as Australia’s next ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs minister Senator Penny Wong made the announcement on Tuesday in Canbera during a media briefing where she was flanked by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Perera, who will also be accredited to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo — Brazzaville, Malawi and Zambia, takes over from Brontë Moules, who has been serving as Australia’s top diplomat to Harare since 2018.

Wong told journalists that Australia will seek to enhance and deepen its relationship with Zimbabwe.

“Australia is a longstanding friend of the people of Zimbabwe, and we look forward to building on the warm people-to-people and community connections between our countries. We recognise the importance of Zimbabwe’s reform agenda to advancing the country’s development, international engagement and new trade and investment opportunities,” Wong said..

The Australian Foreign Affairs minister said Australia would further strengthen engagement with Zimbabwe and countries of non-resident accreditation on key issues of shared interest, including climate change, sustainable development and gender equality.

Perera is a senior career officer with the department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, serving as chief security officer, and most recently as first assistant secretary, executive division.

She has previously served in Beijing, Port Moresby, New York, Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv.

Moules, whom Wong praised for her contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Zimbabwe since 2018, was on Tuesday appointed as Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Human Rights in what Wong said was a move meant to restore Australia’s leadership in human rights around the world.

“The creation of this role is part of Australia’s commitment to employ every strategy at our disposal towards upholding human rights, consistent with our values and with our interests. It will help bolster Australia’s support for the United Nations human rights architecture and international law,” Wong said.

The Foreign Affairs minister said as ambassador, Moules will also engage and consult with Australian stakeholders, including human rights, civil society organisations and diaspora groups in Australia, as well as bilateral and regional partners, and multilateral organisations.

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