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Australia withdraws Navy operations in Middle East to focus on Asia-Pacific, China

The last Australian Navy ship deployed to the Middle East, HMAS Toowoomba, returned to Australia in June this year (file picture). Photo: Royal Australian Navy

A three-decades-long Australian naval presence in the Middle East will come to an abrupt end this year as the Federal Government grapples with an increasingly uncertain strategic environment closer to home.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has announced Australia will no longer send a Royal Australian Navy ship to the Middle East every year.

The last Australian Navy ship deployed to the region, HMAS Toowoomba, returned to Australia in June this year.

Australia will also withdraw from the United States-led naval coalition patrolling the Strait of Hormuz at the end of 2020. Read the full story from Radio NZ here

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