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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 737-13
October 22, 2013

Readout of Secretary Hagel's Meeting With Afghanistan’s Minister of Defense Bismullah Khan Mohammadi

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Afghanistan's Minister of Defense Bismullah Khan Mohammadi today on the sidelines of the NATO defense ministerial in Brussels, Belgium.

Secretary Hagel commended the progress the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have made this year, as they have moved into the lead in providing security for the Afghan people. He stressed there is still work to be done to address Afghanistan's security challenges and it remains critical for Afghanistan to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to enable continuing partnership between U.S. and Afghan armed forces.

Secretary Hagel also emphasized that concluding the BSA, continued development of Afghan forces, and a secure, credible, and inclusive election are all in Afghanistan's long-term interests.

Secretary Hagel underscored that the U.S. Armed Forces look forward to continuing to work with ANSF to pursue Afghan security.