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Hagel Thanks Albanian Counterpart for Support in ISIL Fight

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2014 — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel thanked Albanian Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli during a Pentagon meeting yesterday for her leadership in Albania's support to the Iraqi government in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby noted that Albania has played a leading role in the international effort underway to resupply Iraq's Kurdish forces with ammunition and equipment.

“The leaders [also] discussed Albania's defense reform efforts, including the Albanian officers who recently graduated from the New Jersey National Guard Officer Candidate School,” Kirby added. “They agreed to continue to work together on building Albanian capacity for training and education.”

Kodheli highlighted the Albanian Defense Ministry's efforts to modernize the country’s armed forces with NATO-standard weapons, and she encouraged U.S. defense investment in Albania, the press secretary said.

Hagel noted Albania's support to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, the admiral said, and thanked Albania for its commitment to the post-2014 Resolute Support mission there.