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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 446-13
June 18, 2013

Readout of Meeting Between Secretary Chuck Hagel and Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay

            Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:

             "Secretary Hagel hosted Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay today at the Pentagon for their second meeting here since Secretary Hagel took office earlier this spring. 

             "The leaders discussed a wide range of topics related to their mutual interest in some of the world's ongoing security challenges - including the situation in Syria, Iran's nuclear program, and North Korea's destabilizing activities. 

             "Secretary Hagel and Minister MacKay also discussed our shared effort in Afghanistan, which today crossed a major milestone.  The Afghan National Security Forces have now moved into the lead for security operations nationwide.  Over more than a decade of war, Canada has been an instrumental partner in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition.  Secretary Hagel conveyed his deep appreciation for the significant contributions Canadian troops have made in order to help Afghanistan assume full responsibility for their country's security by the end of 2014. 

             "The leaders concluded their meeting by acknowledging the success of our  55-year long North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) bilat partnership.  Secretary Hagel acknowledged NORAD as a unique example of cooperative defense, essential for the peace and security of both our countries in the 21st century. 

             "Secretary Hagel told Minister MacKay he looks forward to visiting with U.S. and Canadian service members at NORAD in the near future.  He also looks forward to accepting Minister MacKay's invitation to attend the Halifax International Security Forum later this year."

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