Diplomat from Castle Douglas becomes UK Ambassador to Somalia

A man from Castle Douglas has begun serving as the UK ambassador to Somalia.

Mike Nithavrianakis joined the Foreign Office at the age of 17 after his mother saw an advert in the newspaper.

His first posting was to Malaysia before he even knew where the capital Kuala Lumpur was.

During a 40-year career in the Foreign Office, Mr Nithavrianakis has spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan and will now be putting his experience to work on the many issues facing Somalia.

These include combatting famine and defeating terrorism.

The UK Government recently announced a £143 million package of humanitarian support for East Africa - £48 million of which will go to Somalia.

The security level is so high in the country that his wife and two children are unable to visit him.

He said: "Castle Douglas was a fantastic town to grow up in and you only probably really appreciate it once you've left.

"It gives me a sense of pride but also obligation and duty ad sometimes I really pinch myself over how lucky I am."

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