PRIME Minister Tony Abbott is headed home after wrapping up his surprise trip to the Middle East with a visit to Australian troops based in the region.
Mr Abbott, who has spent the week touring the Middle East, also met with United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at Zabeel Palace.
The two leaders discussed international matters of common interest and ways of enhancing bilateral relations with a focus on culture, tourism, economy and trade.
Mr Abbott and Sheikh Mohammed also discussed the importance of combating terrorism through constructive co-operation.
Mr Abbott earlier addressed Australian troops based in the region, praising them for their tireless work and dedication to achieving the US-led coalition's objectives.
He told the troops they were fighting for Australia at home as well as abroad.
"I just want to say thank you on behalf of the Australian Government and the Australian people ... we are very proud of you," Mr Abbott said.
"I am very conscious of the fact that as Prime Minister there is much that you do that I cannot share.
"I regret that I cannot share some of the difficulties and dangers which you face."
- APN NEWSDESK.