Australia offers assistance to Philippine troops in local fight against IS: FM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-29 10:46:20|Editor: Yurou
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CANBERRA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday offered for Australia to train, advise and assist Philippines troops in the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants in the southern Filipino city of Marawi.

The foreign minister met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte during a brief trip to Southeast Asia last week, and on Tuesday said that she had discussed with Duterte the idea of Australian troops providing assistance to their Filipino counterparts.

Bishop told reporters in Canberra that Australia would not provide "troops on the ground," rather act "in the same way" it currently does in Iraq, whereby local troops are trained and advised by Australian specialists.

The minister added that Australia was one of a number of nations to make similar offers to Duterte who is yet to accept Australia's proposal.

Meanwhile also on Tuesday, Labor's foreign affairs spokesperson Penny Wong agreed with the government that maintaining stability in the region was a top priority.

Speaking on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio Tuesday, Wong said that Australia would continue to help the Philippine government considering the fight against terrorism was "right here in our region."