18 Sep 2009

Beazley named as Australian ambassador to US

3:36 pm on 18 September 2009

Former Labor party leader Kim Beazley is to be Australia's next ambassador to the United States.

Former Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson will also take up a top diplomatic post, as ambassador to the European Communities and representative to NATO.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said there were very few men in the country who knew the US better than Mr Beazley.

He said Dr Nelson's political experience would serve him well in his dealings with the EU.

The ABC reports Mr Beazley had two stints as Labor leader, in 1996-2001 and 2004-2006. Mr Beazley, currently the chancellor of the Australian National University, said he could not think of anything he would rather do.

Dr Nelson left Parliament on Thursday after 13 years of service, including 10 months as opposition leader.