Prime Minister Tony Abbott has held talks with Iraq's leader Haider Al-Abadi on fighting jihadists. (AAP) The prime minister says some outstanding processes have to be finalised before he announces Australia's part in a joint mission with NZ in Iraq. Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he'll formally commit Australian troops to a new training mission in Iraq once some outstanding processes are finalised. Mr Abbott did not say just where the problems lay but did say the announcement could come as soon as next Tuesday. This could relate to finalising legal protections for Australian soldiers in Iraq. The deployment of Australia's 200-member special forces team into Iraq last year was delayed while the agreement with the Iraqi government was negotiated. New Zealand, whose deployment of up to 143 soldiers to the training mission was announced on Tuesday, faces the same problem. Mr Abbott has certainly discussed this mission with his Iraqi counterpart Haider Al-Abadi. "PM Al-Abadi received a phone call from Australian PM Tony Abbott. Discussed military cooperation including training of Iraqi Security Forces," the Iraqi leader tweeted on Friday. Mr Abbott, in Auckland for talks with NZ Prime Minister John Key, said he was delighted NZ was on board and prepared to play its part in the wider world.
"This will be a modest but further step against the death cult. Should we finalise our processes as I expect in the next few days, it will be good to have our Kiwi partners with us," he told reporters.
Mr Key announced on Tuesday his country's soldiers will be part of a 400-member training team deploying for an initial nine-month period starting in May.
They will operate at Taji, a logistics base about 30km north of Baghdad.
Most of the Australian and NZ soldiers bound for Iraq won't actually train Iraqi troops. The joint team will contain a substantial security force to protect the trainers from insider or IS attack.
The centrepiece of Mr Abbott's visit to NZ will be bilateral talks with Mr Key on Saturday morning when they are expected to discuss global issues of national security and the joint operation in Iraq.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her NZ counterpart Murray McCully discussed the mission in Auckland on Friday.
She told reporters the call between Mr Abbott and the Iraqi prime minister was part of "constant communication" with Baghdad.
"I'm not going into specific details of conversations ... but they are communicating over the issue of our commitment to supporting Iraq, take back territory and defeat ISIL," she said.
Australia was continuing to review the composition of its presence in Iraq and what more could be done to assist.
"It is not a matter of Australia making a unilateral decision as to how it wants to deal with its defence forces in Iraq," she said.
"It is done with the consent of, and at the invitation of the Iraqi government."
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