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Cohen Departs Feb 4 for Europe, Africa

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 1999 – Defense Secretary William S. Cohen is scheduled Feb. 4 to depart on an eight-day trip to Spain, Germany and South Africa, defense officials here announced.

Cohen will meet with Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar and Defense Minister Eduardo Serra Rexach. In Germany, he will attend the 35th Munich Conference on Security Policy and meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. He will also meet separately with Defense Ministers George Robertson of Britain, Alain Richard of France and Rudolf Scharping of Germany.

Talks among the European leaders is expected to focus on the situation in Kosovo, ongoing Bosnia operations and the April NATO Summit in Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said. Summit topics will include Cohen's defense capabilities and weapons of mass destruction initiatives and terrorism.

In South Africa, Cohen will meet with State President Nelson Mandela and Defense Minister Joe Modise. Cohen will further the constructive relationship Vice President Gore has initiated with the South Africans, the DoD spokesman said. The United States wants to encourage the growth of stability throughout Africa and aims to develop better defense relationship with such key African countries as South Africa and Botswana, he said.

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