I will travel to Italy and the United Kingdom from 1 to 6 February 2016 to attend a meeting of the global counter-Daesh coalition and the Syria Donors Conference.
In Rome I will participate in a Ministerial Meeting of the Small Group of the Global Coalition to Combat Daesh, co-chaired by US Secretary of State Kerry and Italian Foreign Minister Gentiloni.
This meeting comes at a time when local forces in both Syria and Iraq, supported by the coalition, are making military gains against Daesh. I will discuss with coalition counterparts ways to take advantage of this momentum and intensify the global fight against Daesh.
Australia is a significant stakeholder in the efforts to end conflict in Syria and Iraq, with 780 Australian troops in the region.
I will also reaffirm Australia’s commitment to the global counter-Daesh effort as a major military contributor, significant humanitarian donor and strong supporter of the Syrian political process. We are hopeful that the commencement of UN-brokered negotiations in Geneva on 29 January between the Syrian regime and opposition will provide a pathway to resolving the conflict.
In London I will join representatives from 80 countries at the Syria Donors Conference, hosted jointly by the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Kuwait and the United Nations.
This conference will focus on the responsibility of the international community to help the 13.5 million people inside Syria in need of humanitarian assistance and the 4.6 million Syrians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
Australia has provided $190 million in response to the Syria crisis since 2011.
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