SYDNEY - Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson in Baghdad Sunday pledged Australia's full support to the Iraqi government.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. says Nelson told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that Australia intends "to play a bigger role in the reconstruction drive that is currently on in Iraq."
Australia currently has about 1,500 troops serving in Iraq -- largely deployed in the south with British forces.
While reviewing the Australian forces at the Tallil Air Base Nelson said: "As you know, there is a debate going on at home about whether we should be here, that's the nature of democracy ... but we're not going to leave here until it's time to leave, when these people are basically in a position to look after themselves."
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