Visit to Iraq
On 16 January, the Prime Minister visited Australian Defence Force and civilian personnel in Iraq and thanked them for their service. Australians serving in Iraq play a vital role in the fight against Daesh. Our planes and Advise and Assist Mission played an important role in supporting recent progress by Iraqi forces in liberating Ramadi from Daesh. Our Building Partner Capacity mission is providing crucial training to Iraqi Security Forces in their fight to disrupt, degrade and ultimately defeat the terrorists.
The Prime Minister had a detailed discussion with Iraqi Prime Minister Dr Haider Al-Abadi and congratulated him on Iraqi security Forces’ recent successes against Daesh. He extended his condolences for the many Iraqi soldiers and civilians who have been killed or wounded by Daesh attacks.
The Prime Minister was briefed on the current security situation and the Iraqi Government’s priorities including its military campaign against Daesh. He also discussed with Prime Minister Abadi the humanitarian situation in Iraq with nearly 4 million people displaced by the conflict with Daesh.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed Australia’s strong commitment to supporting Iraq’s fight against Daesh, as part of the 60 nation-strong coalition. Australia’s commitment is significant: our contribution to coalition forces on the ground in Iraq remains second only to that of the United States.
The two Prime Ministers agreed both military and political action would be needed to defeat Daesh. To this end, Prime Minister Abadi explained his program to build inclusive governance and trust between all community groups in Iraq.
The Prime Minister was pleased to invite Prime Minister Abadi to visit Australia at a mutually convenient time.