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Obama Lauds Australia's Contribution in IS Fight

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 19, 2016.

President Barack Obama meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 19, 2016.

U.S. President Barack Obama has praised Australia for being an effective partner in the fight against Islamic State.

Obama spoke at the start of talks at the White House with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The fight against IS and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal were high on the agenda.

Australia has been conducting airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria as part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been bombing Islamic State targets since late 2014.

Obama noted that Australia is the second largest contributor of troops, after the U.S..

He also referenced the fight against terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We know the recent attack in Jakarta that appears to have been ISIL inspired. It’s a reminder that Southeast Asia has done a very effective job fighting extremism but it is an area that we have to pay attention to and watch. Obviously, Australia has been impacted in the past by such terrorist attacks,” Obama said.

Turnbull said he is pleased the U.S. and Australia are going to be working more closely together to battle extremists.

The Pentagon said Turnbull and U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter discussed developments in Iraq and Syria during their own meeting Monday, and that Carter expressed appreciation for Australia's contributions.

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