August 05, 2019

Australia Won’t Consider Hosting U.S. Missiles, PM Morrison Says
(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out hosting U.S. missile bases in Australia, and said no such request was made during key diplomatic talks between the two allies over the weekend.“That’s not something the government would consider,” Morrison told reporters Monday. “It’s not being asked of us, it’s not being considered. It’s not being put to us. So, you know, I think I can rule a line under that.”Speaking to reporters on the way to Australia Saturday, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he was in favor of deploying U.S. missiles to Asia within months, though didn’t specify an exact timeline, the type of weapons, or where exactly they would be positioned, the New York Times reported.Australia’s Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said earlier she raised the issue with Esper when she met him in Sydney at the weekend, after reading of his plans in the media.“I can confirm that he made no request and he wasn’t anticipating any request,” Reynolds told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio Monday.The U.S. is Australia’s most important strategic ally, and some 2,500 U.S. Marines are stationed in the northern city of Darwin.Esper and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo at the weekend participated in the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations, or AUSMIN talks, which have served as the principal forum for the allies’ joint strategic, foreign and defense policies for 34 years.To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Johnson in Sydney at ejohnson28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Jon HerskovitzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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