British PM appoints new envoys to US, EU, France

24th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed new ambassadors to Washington, Paris and the EU in a major shake-up of his top diplomatic team, his Downing Street office said Friday.

Cameron's current National Security Advisor, Peter Ricketts, will become the British envoy in Paris while Peter Westmacott, the current British ambassador in France, will move to Washington, it said in a statement.

Jon Cunliffe, who is Cameron's advisor on Europe and global issues, is to become the British permanent representative to the European Union in Brussels, it added.

The current envoy to the EU, Kim Darroch, will meanwhile return to London to take up the national security advisor post.

The appointments come as Britain plays a major role in conflicts in Afghanistan, where it is the second largest contributor of troops after the United States, and in Libya.

Britain and France have together spearheaded the NATO air campaign against forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, backed by a UN Security Council resolution.

France and Britain signed a historic defence cooperation pact in November.

In Brussels, Britain has meanwhile been trying to keep a rein on the contribution of non-euro countries to efforts to bail out the tottering Greek economy.

© 2011 AFP

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