Hagel Discusses Syria, Cooperation With Spain’s Defense Minister
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 7, 2013 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenés at the Pentagon yesterday, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, third on left, and Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenés, third on right, meet at the Pentagon Sept. 6, 2013. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Hagel and Morenés spoke at length about the violence in Syria, Little said.
The two leaders discussed Spain's support of a joint statement issued at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, condemning the Syrian regime’s Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians and supporting the efforts by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on chemical weapons use, he said.
“Secretary Hagel praised Minister Morenés for Spain's support on the issue,” Little added, “and the leaders agreed to remain in close coordination as the situation evolves.”
Hagel also thanked Morenés for Spain's support of U.S. forces, specifically at Morón Air Base and Naval Station Rota, the press secretary said, and the two leaders discussed security challenges in Africa, including piracy, illicit trafficking, and terrorism.
The importance of supporting security and stability in Afghanistan after the NATO military mission ends there in 2014 was another subject the two leaders discussed, Little said. “Secretary Hagel thanked Spain for being a valued ally, and conveyed the United States' appreciation for Spain's steadfast commitment to Afghanistan," he added.