Australian and U.S. defence and foreign ministers hold talks

Australian and U.S. defence and foreign ministers hold talks

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper held talks with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Linda Reynolds in Sydney.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has ruled out the United States deploying mid-range missiles in Australia, confirming no formal request has been made.

Senator Reynolds said the issue was canvassed during high-level talks with her U.S. counterpart Esper. "I can confirm that he made no request, and that he wasn't anticipating any request," she told RN Breakfast.

When pushed to clarify, the minister recounted her conversation with Esper. "I asked him directly, 'was there any expectation of a request', and he said 'no'," she said.

When asked about the potential for American hardware on Australian soil yesterday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne appeared to leave open the possibility.

"The presence of the US and its military forces in this region has been a force for stability for decades, and Australia has consistently welcomed that force and presence," she said.