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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 772-13
November 05, 2013

Readout of Secretary Hagel's Meeting with Belgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Pieter De Crem

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:

"Today Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel welcomed Belgium's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Pieter De Crem to the Pentagon.

"Secretary Hagel praised the key role Belgium continues to play in supporting security efforts in several regions of the world. Belgium has pledged security assistance funding and agreed to train security forces in Afghanistan, supporting stability efforts post-2014. Additionally, Belgium demonstrates its commitment to maintaining peace and security in Africa, through participation in bilateral, European Union and United Nations missions in Mali, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Secretary Hagel and Minister De Crem also discussed the situation in Syria, noting the importance of the international community's efforts to work together to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

"Secretary Hagel thanked Minister De Crem for his unwavering support on transatlantic security issues. The leaders expressed their commitment to maintaining the close defense relationship shared by the United States and Belgium."