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New Ambassador to Rome appointed

New Ambassador to Rome appointed

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has appointed diplomat Patrick Rata as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Italy.

“Italy is a good friend to New Zealand and an influential member of the European Union,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand is pleased to have recently concluded negotiations on a Partnership Agreement with the EU that will place our overall relationship with the European Union on an even stronger footing.

“Italy is the fourth largest economy in the European Union with total two way trade in the year to December 2013 amounting to $1.2 billion. In the future New Zealand is hopeful to launch negotiations for an FTA with the European Union which would further progress this trading relationship”.

“We also have a long-standing defence relationship with Italy and have worked together closely on UN peacekeeping missions around the world in recent years,” Mr McCully says.

Mr Rata is currently New Zealand’s Ambassador to South Korea. He has had previous diplomatic postings in New York and London and also worked at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.

Mr Rata will also be accredited to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Malta, San Marino, Serbia, and Montenegro.

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