The U.S. and Australian governments were set to sign an agreement to conduct joint military exercises in Australia for 25 years as the U.S. shifts its focus to the Pacific, Agence France-Presse reported Monday.
Australian Defence Minister David Johnston told a press conference that nearly 2,500 U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force troops would train in the northern city of Darwin along with Australian forces, according to the report.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the agreement highlights President Obama’s initiative to re-balance towards the Asia Pacific region, the report says.
AFP reported that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Hagel would sign the deal their Australian counterparts Julie Bishop and Johnston during the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations on Tuesday, AFP reports.
The consultations covered talks on regional security in Iraq and Ukraine, military cooperation, maritime security and missile defense, according to AFP.
Officials also discussed regional security issues in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, AFP reports.