Australia's new High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Mr Frank Ingruber, yesterday presented his official Letter of Introduction to Acting Prime Minister, Honourable Fred Fono MP, and called on the Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena GCMG KStJ CSI.

Prior to his appointment as High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Mr Ingruber was Acting High Commissioner at the Australian High Commission in New Zealand. Mr Ingruber has also served overseas as Australia's High Commissioner to Cyprus (2000-04), Deputy Head of Mission in Ottawa (1992-95), and Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission in Manila (1989-92). He has also served in the Australian Embassies in Caracas and The Hague.

At his introductory meetings Mr Ingruber said he was pleased with the strong bilateral relationship Australia has with Solomon Islands and keen to contribute to expanding and further strengthening that important partnership. "Working closely together, both bilaterally and through RAMSI, we can achieve much to benefit the people of Solomon Islands."

Mr Ingruber also thanked Sir Nathaniel Waena for the generous response of the Government and people of Solomon Islands to the recent tragic bushfires in Victoria. "Given that Solomon Islands was dealing with devastating floods at the time, that support and sympathy was very much appreciated. For its part, Australia was pleased to support Solomon Islands, through the Solomon Islands Red Cross and the National Disaster Management Office, to respond to the Guadalcanal floods. Those examples underlined, once again, the warm friendship existing between the two countries".

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