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Carter Meets With Saudi Defense Minister

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2016 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Saudi Arabia’s defense minister, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, met in Brussels today to discuss their nations’ shared security challenges, including the effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a readout of the meeting.

The two leaders discussed the importance of accelerating the counter-ISIL campaign, Cook said.‎

Carter thanked Salman, the press secretary said, “for participating in today's meeting of coalition defense ministers, and for Saudi Arabia's decision to increase its military contributions -- especially [their] offer to expand its role in the air campaign.”

“The secretary also welcomed Saudi Arabia's leadership in establishing an Islamic coalition to counter extremism,” Cook said, noting that the two discussed ways the Islamic anti-terrorism coalition can complement the counter-ISIL coalition.

Finally, he said, Carter underscored the U.S. commitment to the enduring defense partnership between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia‎.