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Carter, German Defense Minister Discuss Bilateral Cooperation

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WASHINGTON, March 9, 2016 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen discussed U.S.-German defense cooperation on a range of global issues during a meeting at the Pentagon yesterday.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the discussion included the fight to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, threats to NATO's eastern and southern flanks and NATO's mission in Afghanistan.

“Secretary Carter thanked Minister von der Leyen for Germany's contributions to the counter-ISIL campaign,” he said, “and they discussed their assessments of the current campaign on the heels of two recent counter-ISIL coalition ministerials in Paris and Brussels.”

Ukraine and Afghanistan

Carter and von der Leyen also discussed Ukraine and Afghanistan, Cook said. On Ukraine, he said, they reiterated the need to maintain pressure on Russia to implement its Minsk commitments. On Afghanistan, the statement said, Carter noted Germany's continued commitment to Afghanistan, and the two defense leaders discussed force posture and presence for Operation Resolute Support in 2017 and beyond.

In addition, the press secretary said, Carter and von der Leyen discussed the importance of ensuring NATO unity going into the alliance’s upcoming summit in Warsaw, Poland.

“Secretary Carter encouraged Germany to lead by example in maintaining upward trajectory in defense spending consistent with its Wales pledge,” Cook said.