Australia to play humanitarian role in Iraq: Abbott

By AAP

Asked how far Canberra was prepared to go in Iraq, the prime minister said Australia was preparing to be involved in the humanitarian airdrop. "We'll continue talking to our friends and partners about other issues, but at this stage I want to stress that this is very much a humanitarian mission to try to ensure that tens of thousands of people are not exposed to the murderous zealotry of the Islamic State," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott is in London to hold security talks with the UK foreign and defence secretaries and receive briefings from top intelligence officials. "This is a difficult and dangerous world and it's important that Australia stays in the closest possible touch with our friends and partners particularly with this developing situation in the Middle East," Mr Abbott told reporters at Whitehall.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says "at this stage" Australia is only preparing to be involved in a humanitarian mission to northern Iraq to help citizens fleeing the advance of Islamic State forces.

Mr Kerry flagged the US was prepared to consider additional political, economic and security options to help stabilise the security situation, expand economic development and strengthen Iraq's democratic institutions. "We have always wanted an inclusive, participatory government that represents the interests of Shia, Kurd, Sunni minorities - all Iraqis," he said in Sydney after AUSMIN talks on Tuesday.

Read more here: Business Spectator

    

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