Australia has confirmed a senior diplomat as its first resident ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement on September 18 that Simon Merrifield will be based in Indonesia to take up his appointment as Australia ’s first resident ambassador on September 20, following the approval by ASEAN Foreign Ministers.

Merrifield, a senior career officer of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has lived in the Southeast Asia region for a total of 13 years and has extensive experience in ASEAN countries.

According to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Australia and ASEAN has a long history of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment and people-to-people links.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA