CANBERRA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- As the 6th anniversary of
the Iraqi war approaches, visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki paid
tribute on Thursday to Australia's servicemen who lost their life in the Iraq's
Visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki(L) and Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on a press conference at Canberra. Maliki's 5 day official visit to Australia from March 11 sets the scene for a fresh stage in the relationship between the two nations, according to Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
"I would like to take this opportunity to praise the
personnel who helped in Iraq against the challenge of terrorism, which not only
threatened Iraq but threatened humanity as well," al Maliki said while visiting
the Australian War Memorial in the afternoon. He also laid a wreath at the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier.
While touring the war Memorial, the Iraqi leader
offered his sympathies to the families and friends of those soldiers who had
lost their life in Iraq.
"I extend my sympathies to the families of loved ones
who lost their lives while helping Iraq," al-Maliki added.
Al-Maliki made the comments to a gathering of
Australian Defence Force personnel who had served in Iraq, but was unable to
find time to chat to them personally, as had been expected.