Change of UK Ambassador to Iraq

Mr Simon Paul Collis has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq.

He will succeed Mr Michael Aron who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Collis will take up his appointment at the end of June 2012.

Mr Collis joined the FCO in 1978 and after studying Arabic has served mainly in the Middle East. His most recent postings have been as Her Majesty's Consul General in Dubai and in Basra, and Her Majesty's Ambassador in Doha and in Damascus. He left Syria on the withdrawal of remaining staff in February 2012, and was declared persona non grata by the Syrian regime in June 2012.

On his appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, Mr Collis has said "I am honoured to be appointed Ambassador to Iraq and look forward to returning there. I will do my best to work with the Government and people of Iraq to strengthen relations between our countries.

At a time of change in the region and in the wider world there are many challenges and opportunities across political, economic, security and cultural fields where both countries can benefit from working more closely together in pursuit of our shared interests and objectives.

I believe that success in these endeavours must be rooted in a sound appreciation of our historical links while remaining firmly focused on building the future. I am very happy to have been afforded this opportunity to contribute to that exciting and valuable work."

Curriculum vitae

Full name: Simon Paul Collis
Married to: Huda Mujarkech
Children: Five adult children
October 2007 – Present Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Damascus
2005 – 2007 Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Doha
2004 – 2005 Basra, Consul General
2000 – 2004 Dubai, Consul General
1999 – 2000 Secondment to BP
1996 – 1999 Amman, Deputy Head of Mission
1994 – 1996 FCO, Deputy Head, Near East & North Africa Dept
1991 – 1994 New Delhi, First Secretary
1990 – 1991 FCO, Gulf War Emergency Unit
1988 – 1990 Tunis, Deputy Head of Mission
1987 – 1988 FCO, Head of India Section, South Asia Department
1986 UKMis New York, Temporary Duty
1984 – 1986 FCO, Middle East Spokesman, News Department
1981 – 1984 Bahrain, Second Secretary
1980 – 1981 Full Time Arabic Language Training
1978 – 1979 FCO, Desk Officer, Southern European Department

(Source: FCO)

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