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Turnbull holds security talk with NATO

Malcolm Turnbull and NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg have discussed boosting the rules-based global order.Malcolm Turnbull has met with NATO to discuss the security situation in Russia, North Korea and a potential new commitment in the Middle East.

He met NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday and the pair also talked about strengthening the rules-based international order in the face of authoritarian governments.

Mr Stoltenberg said NATO and Australia had been allies in the Middle East, especially providing security in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“At our summit in July, we expect to launch a new training mission in Iraq,” Mr Stoltenberg said in a statement.

“This could be another area where NATO and Australia could join forces.”

The prime minister said Australia has been one of the largest non-NATO contributors to the war in Afghanistan.

“We must never again let that country become a haven for terrorists,” Mr Turnbull said.

He said the pair discussed the response to the poisoning attack on a former Russian agent in the United Kingdom.

Australia expelled two Russian spies from its Canberra embassy.

“Australia is the only country outside the EU and NATO to take this action,” Mr Turnbull said.

The pair talked about the importance of NATO in countering rising authoritarianism.

“More than at any time since the end of the Cold War, NATO is central to that task of maintaining the security and compliance to rule of law that is the foundation of our freedom,” Mr Turnbull said.

He said sanctions must be maintained against North Korea until it abandons its nuclear weapons program.

Mr Turnbull also said Australia this week joined the NATO co-operative cyber defence centre of excellence in Estonia.

Australian Associated Press

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