US marines arrive in Australia

Sydney: The first batch of about 200 US marines have arrived in Australia’s Darwin city as part of a defence deal, Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced on Wednesday.

The US and Australia will hold joint training and exercises in the Northern Territory of Australia, and up to 2,500 US troops will eventually arrive in the country, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

Addressing the media, Smith described it as “a historic day for the US-Australia alliance forged over 60 years ago.

“The international community has to adjust to accommodate the focus to Asia-Pacific,” he said.

Smith said there also have been discussions about involving Indonesia and China in future military exercises.

The minister said the US move was aimed at dealing with the challenge of the rise of China, India and Indonesia, adding that Australia looked for more cooperation in the region.