Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed a national security meeting to discuss Australia’s involvement in the Iraqi conflict will occur tomorrow.
The high-level meeting between Australia’s top intelligence officials, including a Cabinet meeting, will be convened by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, with decisions to be made regarding Australia’s international campaign against Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq.
“There’s a public holiday in Canberra today, so the cabinet meeting will occur on Tuesday,” Bishop told media during a conference in Melbourne.
The Foreign Minister said Australia’s military had been invited by the Iraqi and US governments to provide support against ISIS.
“We’ve been requested by the US and the Iraqi government to support efforts in Iraq. That’s what we’ve been considering, that’s [why] we’ve pre-deployed aeroplanes and our special forces for that mission. And we are comfortable that it requires a legal framework from the Iraqi government, an invitation and consent from the Iraqi government.”
Bishop said Australia will “do what we can” to help combat terrorism both at home and abroad, reiterating the government’s $600 million commitment to bolster counter-terrorism efforts in Australia.
“Australia is an open and tolerant society… a multi-cultural, multi-faith society,” she said.
“Some Australians have decided to leave this beautiful country to fight with terror groups abroad.”
The second tranche of counter-terrorism legislation, the Foreign Fighters bill, was introduced to parliament last week.
CLICK HERE for a wrap-up of Australia’s terrorism news.
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