Malcolm Turnbull

PM visits Australian troops in Afghanistan, Iraq

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made an unannounced visit to Australian troops in Afghanistan and Iraq ahead of Anzac day.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made an unannounced visit to Australian troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan ahead of Anzac day commemorations.

"The Prime Minister meeting and thanking Australian Defence Force mentors and force protection at Qargha, Afghanistan," the official account of his office tweeted early on Tuesday morning.

Australia has 270 defence personnel deployed mostly in the capital Kabul, where they provide support and security along with some mentoring recruits at the Afghan National Military Academy.

Since 2002, 42 Australian troops have been killed in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.

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During his visit on Sunday and Monday, Mr Turnbull paid tribute to their sacrifice.

"This trip was not just an occasion to celebrate Anzac day with Australians (and New Zealanders) who are serving on the front lines, it was an invaluable opportunity to assess the progress of the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan," the prime minister said in a statement.

"By confronting and defeating the terrorists on the battlefield, we are helping make the world - and Australia - a safer place."

Mr Turnbull also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in Baghdad and Afghan Ashraf President Ghani in Kabul during the trip

He also held a meeting with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, where he reiterated Australia's commitment to defeating terrorism and working alongside US, NATO and Afghan partners to build Afghanistan's security institutions.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull departs a CH-47 Chinook over Kabul, Afghanistan to meet Australian troops serving at Camp Qargha (AAP)
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull departs a CH-47 Chinook over Kabul, Afghanistan to meet Australian troops serving at Camp Qargha (AAP)
AAP

Tillerson offers Anzac Day message

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has sent Australia and New Zealand America's best thoughts, prayers and wishes for ANZAC Day.

"This ANZAC Day we are honoured to stand with New Zealand and Australia to remember the past, reflect on the present, and, most solemnly, honour your fallen," Mr Tillerson said.

He noted by the time the American Expeditionary Forces were organised in 1917 for the Great War, ANZAC forces had been fighting for over two years from the shores of Gallipoli to the Western Front.

"Your courage against all odds inspired news stories that spread across the United States, exposing the American people to your steadfastness and deeply- held sense of mateship," Mr Tillerson said.

"The tenacity and sacrifice of your brave service men and women represent to this day the determination of the people of Australia and New Zealand to defend democracy and freedom."

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