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US, Australia sign landmark military agreement


08-12-2014 15:35 BJT

Australia and the United States have just signed a landmark agreement that allows for the rotational deployment of thousands of US marines and air force personnel in northern Australia.

According to Australian media, the "Force Posture" agreement sets out the legal framework for the presence of US marines based in Darwin, now numbering 1,150 but set to rise to 2,500. More broadly, it will allow the US to expand military assets over the next 25 years in Australia beyond the troop rotation.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, as well as US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Australian Defence Minister David Johnston, signed the treaty in Sydney, as part of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation talks. The agreement was reached by US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in July.

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