Minister Payne visits Brussels for counter-terrorism conference

marise payne

Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne travelled to Brussels, Belgium, yesterday for discussions on key Australian defence, security and strategic interests.

Minister Payne attended a meeting of Defence Ministers from the counter-Daesh coalition, where they discussed the military campaigns in Iraq and Syria.

The counter-Daesh coalition is made up of 68 partners including Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, the UAE and Egypt.

According to the coalition, Daesh, also known as ISIS, has now lost more than 60 per cent of the territory it once held in Iraq.

The meeting was an opportunity to further progress the coalition campaign against the terrorist group.

Minister Payne will also meet with the new US Secretary of Defense James Mattis to discuss a range of shared defence and security issues while in Brussels.

New Iraqi Minister for Defence Erfan al-Hayali will also meet with Payne where Australia's ongoing commitment to help Iraq's Security Forces in the fight against Daesh, including current operations to liberate Mosul, will be reiterated.

Mosul is an ancient city on the banks of the Tigris River that came under the control of Daesh in June of 2014.

The coalition forces, led by the US-supported Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga, launched a counterattack in October 2016 and have recently retaken most of the eastern half of the city.

 

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