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Carter Meets With Czech Defense Minister in Brussels

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WASHINGTON, February 10, 2016 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky met today on the sidelines of the NATO defense ministerial in Brussels, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a readout of the meeting. This was their first meeting, he noted.

NATO’s defense ministers are in Brussels for two days of talks on the alliance’s continued adaptation in the face of growing security challenges, including the effort to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The two defense leaders discussed U.S.-Czech collaboration in the counter-ISIL campaign and Czech contributions to European security and Afghanistan, the press secretary said.

Carter thanked Stropnicky for the Czech Republic's recent decision to provide additional weapons and ammunition to the counter-ISIL fight, Cook said, and they discussed other potential Czech contributions to the campaign.

The defense secretary also expressed support for the Czech Republic's efforts to increase defense spending and modernize its military, the press secretary said, and recognized the Czech Republic for the active role they are taking in NATO air policing, military exercises and supporting the movement of U.S. military convoys.

Carter thanked Stropnicky for the Czech Republic's continued contributions in Afghanistan and concluded by recognizing the enduring defense relationship between the United States and the Czech Republic, Cook said.