VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis named Archbishop Adolfo Yllana to be apostolic nuncio to Israel and to Cyprus and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine.

The Vatican announced June 3 the transfer of the 73-year-old native of the Philippines, who had been nuncio to Australia since 2015.

In the Middle East, Archbishop Yllana will succeed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, who was named nuncio to India in March.

Born in Naga City, Philippines, Feb. 6, 1948, Archbishop Yllana worked in seminaries in the Philippines before being sent to Rome to study canon law and civil law. In Rome, he entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trains Vatican diplomats.

After completing his doctorate in canon law and civil law, Archbishop Yllana was posted to West Africa in 1984, where he served the church in Ghana, Togo and Benin. He continued his service with postings in Sri Lanka, Turkey, Lebanon, Hungary and Taiwan. In 2001, St. John Paul II named him an archbishop and nuncio to Papua New Guinea. He was nuncio to Pakistan and then to Congo before being sent to Australia.