John Key, Tony Abbott likely to discuss air strikes

  • 09/09/2015
John Key (L) and Tony Abbott (Getty)
John Key (L) and Tony Abbott (Getty)

The Australian government is on the brink of giving the go-ahead to air strikes against terrorist targets in Syria.

And Prime Minister John Key is expecting his counterpart Tony Abbott to raise the extension of Australia's involvement in the fight against Islamic State with him when the two meet in Port Moresby.

Mr Key is already in Papua New Guinea's capital for the annual Pacific Islands Forum and Mr Abbott will arrive later today.

The pair will catch up for a drink and Mr Key says he will be more than happy to discuss any Australian military action in Syria.

But he has ruled out New Zealand extending its military involvement in the Middle East.

"Bluntly, we don't have air capacity anyway and we're fairly maxed out in terms of what we would want to do to Iraq," Mr Key told reporters.

"I think I made a pretty strong commitment to the New Zealand public about what the level of engagement would be."

There is a contingent of about 100 Kiwi troops in Iraq - in a non-combat role - training local soldiers.

The Abbott government may also make an announcement on what more it will do to help Syrians fleeing the conflict.