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AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
29 June 2011
Australia’s Special Envoy pays call on Prime Minister Gilani
Australia’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mr Ric Smith, paid a call on Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani at his official Residence in Islamabad today.
Mr Smith was on his third visit to Pakistan in the past two years. Earlier this week he visited Afghanistan for the International Contact Group on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr Smith told Prime Minister Gilani that the Australian Government’s commitment to Pakistan remained steadfast. Australia had been a close friend to Pakistan since 1947, and wanted to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation, including on key shared interests in combating terrorism and extremist violence.
Mr Smith has been Australia’s Special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan since April 2009. As Special Envoy, Mr Smith has a key role in advising the Australian Government and in enhancing Australia’s engagement with Pakistan.
Mr Smith was previously Secretary of the Department of Defence and Australian Ambassador to Indonesia (2001-2002), and China (1996-2000). Mr Smith was named as an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1998, and was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2003 for his service following the first Bali bombing.
Mr Smith is a Visiting fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute for International Policy. He was a Distinguished Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School for International Studies in Singapore from August to December in 2007. He was the Australian Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.
Contact: Jon Bonnar, +92 51 835 5346