Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr on Thursday named career diplomat Dave Sharma as Australia's next ambassador to Israel.
Sharma, who has served in diplomatic posts in Washington and Papua New Guinea, has also served as an advisor to former foreign ministers Alexander Downer. He will replace Andrea Faulkner, and is expected to take up his new post next month.
Israeli-Australian ties are very strong, though they were strained somewhat in recent months by the Ben Zygier spy scandal, and Australia's abstention in the UN General Assembly vote in November to grant the Palestinians non-member state status in the UN.
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