This afternoon in Brussels, Secretary Hagel met with Canadian Minister of National Defense Rob Nicholson. This was their first in-person meeting since Minister Nicholson assumed his new role.
Secretary Hagel emphasized the importance he places on U.S.-Canadian defense cooperation, and thanked Canada for being a strong ally, friend and neighbor. They discussed the important work of NORAD, our close security cooperation in the Western Hemisphere and beyond, as well as the importance of investing in NATO and continuing with NATO reform efforts.
Secretary Hagel thanked the minister for Canada's support for the international effort in Afghanistan, and they discussed the progress being made in the mission there, as well as the challenges that remain.
Secretary Hagel said he looks forward to making his first visit to Canada in his capacity as secretary of defense next month, when he will participate in the Halifax Security Forum.