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UPDATED: 20:05, January 08, 2007
Australia not to change troop number in Iraq: FM
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Australia won't expand its troops in Iraq despite Washington's intention to beef up military force there, according to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in Canberra on Monday.

Downer was responding to reports that U.S. President George W. Bush is to announce a reinforcement of up to 20,000 troops to Iraq.

"Australia has no intention of changing our troop numbers," he told reporters.

He added it's up to military chiefs to decide how many soldiers are needed on the ground.

Australia, a close ally of the United States, joined the U.S.- led coalition forces in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and still keeps around 1,400 troops in and around the Gulf country.

Source: Xinhua

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