Former Australian Politician Christopher Pyne Registers as Foreign Agent for the UAE

Former Australian Politician Christopher Pyne Registers as Foreign Agent for the UAE

Christopher Maurice Pyne, a retired Australian politician and member of the Liberal Party, has recently made headlines by registering as a foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pyne, who held various ministerial positions in the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull, and Morrison governments, served as a member of parliament for the division of Sturt from 1993 until his retirement in 2019.

This move marks Pyne’s second entry into the foreign agent registry, with his first registration occurring in 2021 due to his involvement with Masdar Tribe, an energy infrastructure joint venture linked to a company co-owned by the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund.

Pyne’s lobbying firm, Pyne and Partners, has been thriving, even organizing a defense industry trip to the United States for Australian MPs. The firm’s recent acquisition of the UAE embassy as a client necessitated Pyne’s registration as a foreign agent, in accordance with a scheme implemented by the Turnbull government in 2018.

A spokesperson for Pyne and Partners expressed gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with the UAE embassy, stating that their mission is to enhance trade and investment between Australia and the UAE.

While the foreign influence transparency scheme was initially designed to combat espionage efforts by foreign entities, it has ended up listing numerous former Australian politicians as foreign agents. Tony Abbott, for instance, registered as a foreign agent due to his role as a trade adviser to the UK and his participation on the board of a British climate skepticism think tank. Additionally, Kevin Rudd accumulated numerous entries on the foreign agent register during his “hustle years,” although he never seemed enthusiastic about the requirement.

Christopher Pyne’s new registration underscores the diverse array of foreign interests engaging with former Australian politicians, shedding light on the evolving landscape of political influence and transparency in the country.

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