Australia says it won’t be base for US midrange missiles

SYDNEY: Australia’s defense minister Linda Reynolds has confirmed her country will not be used as a base for any planned US midrange missiles, following talks with American officials in Sydney on the weekend.

US defense secretary Mark Esper said before the meetings he wanted to deploy intermediate-range conventional missiles at various Asia-Pacific sites within months, now that the Trump administration has withdrawn from an arms control treaty with Russia.

The move is likely to anger China.

But Reynolds confirmed Monday that Australia is not a potential location for the missiles.

Reynolds told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio that Esper “made no request, and that he wasn’t anticipating any request” for Australia to be the base for any such missiles.