Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:
“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Slovenia’s Minister of Defense Roman Jakic today at the Pentagon.
“Secretary Hagel expressed his appreciation for Slovenia’s close military cooperation, and its valuable contributions to our common security objectives in the Balkans, Afghanistan and at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“The leaders reflected on the success of our joint training activities, to include Slovenia’s hosting of large multinational exercises. They highlighted the 20-year State Partnership Program between Slovenia and the Colorado National Guard, which saw multiple co-deployments to Afghanistan, and collaboration in key missions.
“Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Jakic for Slovenia’s contributions to United Nations peacekeeping missions and congratulated Slovenia on becoming a Global Peace Operations Initiative partner this past spring.
“Finally, Secretary Hagel praised Slovenia for the critical leadership role it plays in the Western Balkans. Slovenia serves as a key stabilizing influence in the region, maintaining a presence in NATO’s Kosovo Force, mentoring other nations on export control and border security, and most recently, hosting a multinational conference on regional cooperation.”