New EU Pacific head

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A new head of the European Union Delegation to the Pacific to be based in Fiji has been announced by Josep Borrell, the vice-president of the European Commission.

Barbara Plinkert will replace Sujiro Seam, who has been appointed European Union ambassador to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Plinkert was the head of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Southeast Asia Division, based in Brussels.

“Very honoured to have been nominated as the next ambassador of the Pacific region.Looking forward to continuing the work of ambassador @sujiseam in deepening EU-Pacific relations and cooperation with the team of @EUPasifika,” she posted on Twitter.

Plinkert previously served as head of the EU delegation to Singapore. From 2011-2015, she was based in Addis Ababa as deputy head of the EU delegation to Ethiopia.

Before that, she held key positions within the EU with postings in Zimbabwe, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Between 1998 and 2003 she worked for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which took her to Afghanistan.

Ambassador Plinkert speaks English, German, French and Chinese. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Sinology, South-east Asian Studies and Linguistics from Free University of Berlin.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS