15 Dec 2012

New High Commissioner to Fiji announced

1:45 pm on 15 December 2012

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has announced Margaret Twomey as Australia's high commissioner to Fiji, ending a three-year hiatus caused by the expulsion of the previous high commissioner in 2009.

Senator Carr said the decision to announce Margaret Twomey was an agreed outcome of trilateral talks with Fiji and New Zealand in Sydney in July this year.

"I welcome recent moves towards democracy in Fiji, including work towards an electronic electoral roll ahead of the elections scheduled for 2014," Senator Carr said in a statement on Saturday.

"There is a long way to go, but recent steps forward deserve the recognition agreed upon in our talks in July.

"Australia will continue to encourage Fiji's return to democracy and the civilianisation of government positions."

AAP reports Ms Twomey is expected to take up her appointment in February next year. She is a senior career officer with DFAT, and is currently Australian ambassador to the Russian Federation.

She has previously served as ambassador to East Timor, deputy head of mission at the Australian high commission, Suva, and in previous postings to London and Belgrade.

Australia is the largest foreign investor in Fiji. More than 300,000 Australian tourists visit the country every year, while 50,000 Fijians live and work in Australia.