|US Defense Minister Mark Esper (R) and his wife were at Australia's Sydney airport on August 3, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
He 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.
Speaking to reporters on the way to Australia on Saturday, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he was in favor of deploying US missiles to Asia within months, though he didn’t specify an exact timeline, the type of weapons, or where exactly they would be positioned. The US is Australia’s most important strategic ally, and some 2,500 US 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, which have served as the principal forum for the allies’ joint strategic, foreign and defense policies for 34 years.