World / Asia-Pacific

Australia vows to continue support of Iraq in fighting IS

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-12 17:20

Australia vows to continue support of Iraq in fighting IS

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses members of the media after a party room meeting at Parliament House in Canberra February 9, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA - Australia will continue to support the Iraqi government in its fighting against the Islamic State (IS), Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday.

"Obviously, Australia is making a strong contribution to the campaign against the Daesh (IS) death cult," Abbott said when meetings with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Ja'afari.

"We're doing this not just because we want to help Iraq although we do want to help Iraq we're doing this because the death cult is reaching out to people in Australia."

"We saw a graphic illustration yesterday in Sydney of the way the death cult is inspiring misguided people in this country to want to do absolutely horrific things," he added, referring to the arrest of two men in Sydney on Wednesday for alleged terror plot.

"That's why it's important that the whole world, including Australia, stand with Iraq as you grapple with the terrible problems that you're currently facing."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also said a joint press conference with Al-Ja'afari that since there are a number of Australians fighting with the IS in Iraq and Syria, it is the obligation of the Australian government to prevent Australians adding the severity to the lives of Iraqi people.

Some 2.2 million Iraqis have been displaced as a result of the IS expansion. Australia has provided 22 million AU dollars ($17 million) in emergency humanitarian assistance for Iraq since June 2014.

However, Bishop ruled out the possibility of sending troops to Iraq.

"The Australian troops are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to provide advise and training to Iraqi troops. Australia is not sought to expand the role to combat," she said.

Al-Ja'afari said at the press conference that the Iraqi government has never asked foreign governments for troop contributions. Countries like Australia can provide training and intelligence, which are helpful to Iraqi troops to achieve advances against the IS.

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