Tony abbott promises to grow economic ties with Turkey, and to be more open to the Kurds. He vows to strengthen the nation-state – including the Peshmerga, who have shown promise in fighting IS in Iraq but could be pushed back if the Islamic State threatens other communities. Meanwhile he offers Kurdish autonomy – but only if it includes the areas under IS control. "If we want to be a force on this Earth, we've got to be inclusive of everybody," he said.
But when asked if he was open to a dialogue with Islamic State, Mr Abbott defended the US-led airstrikes and said it had killed some 150 IS fighters. Mr Abbott's speech drew immediate praise from Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi, who said it could be the beginning of political and military progress for the embattled government. IS released a statement declaring the killing of the fighters a "historic victory" and calling for attacks on Baghdad and Washington.
'Great leaders' Mr Abbott was one of three leaders at the Arab League summit in Kuwait last week in which countries agreed to "support and help to restore stability in Syria", according to a member of the Arab League's Executive Council, the Kuwait Press Agency reported. The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, said he had "a lot of confidence" in his president, while the Iraqi prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi, met Mr Assad to reassure him of the support of the opposition. The White House said in a statement that Mr Abbott had "helped to build a new friendship between the United States and Iraq and a close regional partnership".