Julie Bishop I will visit Kuwait between 12-14 February to participate in the Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL and the International Conference on the Reconstruction of Iraq.
Australia continues to play a leading role in the Coalition to Defeat ISIL.
The Ministerial Meeting, co-chaired by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, follows the military collapse of ISIL’s so-called ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria. It is expected to consider continuing efforts to counter ISIL’s destructive narrative and its global reach, including into our region.
At the International Conference on the Reconstruction of Iraq, I will highlight Australia’s significant contribution to alleviating humanitarian suffering and supporting Iraq’s stabilisation.
The Australian Government has provided in total $613 million in response to the Iraq and Syria crises since 2011. This includes our $100 million Humanitarian and Stabilisation Package for Iraq announced last year.
This will be my first visit to Kuwait as Foreign Minister during which I will advance the bilateral relationship with Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah and also discuss regional issues.
Australia and Kuwait share strong commercial ties, including over $8 billion in Kuwaiti investment in Australia, and close to $800 million in two-way trade in the last financial year. We also enjoy close people-to-people links, with over 1,000 Australians living in Kuwait and around 1,100 Kuwaiti students choosing to study in Australia.