Mr. Aivo Orav appointed as Head of the EU Delegation to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (04/01/2012)

EU High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton fills three positions in the European External Action Service

Brussels, 21 December 2011 - Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, today announced her intention to fill three positions in the European External Action Service. Aivo Orav will become Head of the EU Delegation to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Samuel ┼Żbogar will become Head of the EU Office in Kosovo. John Gatt-Rutter will become EU Representative to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Catherine Ashton said: "I am very pleased to appoint such strong candidates to what are three key posts in the EEAS. They all bring unique experience and expertise to their new roles, and this will be crucial as we continue to build the service. I was most impressed by the high calibre of the candidates. The opportunity to represent the EU's diplomatic service continues to attract the brightest and best diplomats."

Aivo Orav is currently Estonian Ambassador to Turkey, FYROM, Azerbaijan, Lebanon and Syria. He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

Samuel ┼Żbogar is currently the Foreign Minister of Slovenia. He previously enjoyed a distinguished career in the Slovenian Foreign Ministry, including a four-year spell as Ambassador to the United States.

John Gatt-Rutter is currently acting EU Representative to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA. He is a specialist on the Middle East, having previously worked on the issue for the EU institutions and in the Maltese Foreign Ministry.

NB : Appointments will be confirmed following the agreement of the host countries and administrative formalities.

Contacts :

Michael Mann (+32 2 299 97 80)

Maja Kocijancic (+32 2 298 65 70)

Sebastien Brabant (+32 2 298 64 33)