Australia welcomes appointment of new U.S. ambassador after 2-year wait

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-04 09:00:42|Editor: WX
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CANBERRA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has welcomed the appointment of a new U.S. ambassador to Australia after the post was left vacant for more than two years.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Arthur Culvahouse Jr, a former lawyer and public servant, as the new ambassador to Australia more than two years after the last ambassador, John Berry, left the post.

"I welcome the confirmation of Arthur B. Culvahouse as the US's next ambassador to Australia," Marise Payne, Australia's minister for foreign affairs, said in a statement.

The two-year absence of an ambassador has been a source of irritation between the Australian and U.S. administrations.

U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2018 nominated Admiral Harry Harris Jr to be the ambassador to Australia but he was re-nominated to be the ambassador to South Korea in May.

Julie Bishop, Payne's predecessor as foreign minister, said at the time that the government understood the decision and looked forward to a new ambassador being appointed.

Culvahouse, whose first major job in politics was as a counsel to President Ronald Reagan, advised Trump and 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain on who to pick as their running mates.