Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been named the next ambassador to the United States.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced Mr Rudd will replace former Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos in February.
“Doctor Rudd brings unmatched experience to the role,” said Mr. Albanese.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been named the next ambassador to the United States
“He has been Prime Minister, Secretary of State, held distinguished academic positions and worked extensively in the United States.
“It is intended that he will start his secondment in early 2023.”
Mr Albanese dismissed questions from reporters as to whether Mr Rudd was the right person for the job, given his reputation in political circles.
“Your colleagues invariably described Kevin Rudd as a psychopath, micromanager, control freak,” said one reporter.
“Is that the person your government needs in Washington? Do you worry about basically having a second secretary of state in the United States?’
Mr Albanese replied: “Kevin Rudd is an excellent appointment.”
Mr Rudd released a statement saying he was “honoured” to be nominated for the position.
“Australia is currently facing its most challenging security and diplomatic environment in many decades,” he said.
“Our national interest continues to serve the broadest and most effective strategic engagement by the United States in our region, as it has for decades.
Mr Albanese made the announcement as Secretary of State Penny Wong prepares to travel to China for the first ministerial visit since 2019
“Our alliance is founded not only on our common security and economic interests, but also on the intergenerational friendship between our peoples and our shared values of freedom, democracy and the universality of human rights.”
Mr Albanese made the announcement as Secretary of State Penny Wong prepares to travel to China for the first ministerial visit since 2019.
The trip coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries after former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s trip to China in 1972.
Senator Wong’s visit marks the first time a minister has set foot in China since 2019 and follows years of a deteriorating relationship.
There’s more to come
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