Obama thanks Australia for Iraq coalition help

President Barack Obama thanked Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his country`s "significant" support in the coalition fighting against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, the White House said Wednesday.

Washington: President Barack Obama thanked Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his country`s "significant" support in the coalition fighting against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, the White House said Wednesday.

In a telephone conversation with Abbott on Tuesday, Obama praised Australia for its role in Iraq, which has included airstrikes as well as a commitment to deploy around 200 special forces to assist Iraqi troops.

Australia was one of the first countries to confirm its support for the US-led campaign of military strikes on IS fighters, which have seized swaths of Iraq and Syria.

"The president thanked Prime Minister Abbott for Australia`s significant efforts in Iraq, where both countries are working to help Iraq strengthen its security forces and are conducting airstrikes against (IS)," a White House statement said.

The two leaders also discussed the Ebola epidemic, and agreed that "the international community must act boldly and quickly" to combat the outbreak, the statement added.

Obama thanked Abbott for Australia`s financial contribution to fight the disease, and looked forward to the G20 summit of major powers to be held in Brisbane in November.

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