WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday picked U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris as the country's new ambassador to Australia, said the White House in a statement.

Harris, during his 39-year career, served in every geographic combatant command and has held seven command assignments including the U.S. Pacific Fleet, according to the statement.

It has long been speculated that Harris is the likely next ambassador but there has been no confirmation from the White House.

John Berry, the former U.S. Ambassador to Australia, resigned in September 2016, leaving the post vacant ever since.

In January, former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer accused the U.S. of hitting Australia with a "diplomatic insult," saying that Trump administration's failure to appoint an ambassador to Canberra for 18 months indicated Australia was now of "low priority."