• Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand's next Ambassador to Turkey will be career diplomat Alan Cook, Foreign Minister Don McKinnon announced today.

Mr McKinnon said that New Zealand and Turkey had a wide-ranging bilateral relationship, with the warmth and emotion of the annual ANZAC Day commemoration at Gallipoli symbolising the shared history of the relationship.

"As a key country in a very strategic part of the world, Turkey is uniquely placed to help influence events in Central Asia and the Middle East, and it is important that New Zealand should be represented there", said Mr McKinnon.

"We believe there is considerable scope to expand our current trade with Turkey, and to diversify economic linkages, both bilaterally and outward into third countries, to add to the substance of the political relationship," he said.

Mr Cook, who is the Director of the International Security and Arms Control Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has previously served in Apia, Ottawa, Bonn and Vienna.

He will take up his posting in Ankara in November, and will also be accredited to Israel and Jordan. He replaces Ian Kennedy, who is returning to Wellington.