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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: NR-156-14
March 31, 2014

Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's Meeting with Portuguese Minister of Defense Pedro Aguiar-Branco

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following readout:

“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel welcomed Portuguese Minister of Defense Pedro Aguiar-Branco to the Pentagon today.

“Secretary Hagel expressed appreciation for Portugal’s many contributions to international security, including supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing rotation later this year, and Portugal’s support in combating piracy and maritime crime in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia.  Secretary Hagel also thanked Aguiar-Branco for Portugal’s hospitality towards United States airmen at Lajes Field.

“The leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine and reaffirmed both nations’ steadfast commitment to our collective defense obligations.  Both men agreed on the need for Russia to begin discussions with the Ukrainian government, as diplomacy remains the only acceptable means of resolving this crisis.

 “Secretary Hagel looks forward to seeing Minister Aguiar-Branco at the NATO Summit in Wales, this September.”

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