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Release No: NR-325-14
June 19, 2014

Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s Meeting with Germany’s Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen

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

“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met today with Germany’s Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen.

“The leaders reaffirmed the strong friendship and alliance between Germany and the U.S. They discussed a number of security challenges, ranging from our post-2014 commitments in Afghanistan, to recent developments in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine.

“Secretary Hagel and Minister von der Leyen discussed both nations’ efforts to reinforce NATO and to reassure our NATO allies since Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. This includes ongoing air, land and sea measures by the U.S. military and other NATO members; President Obama’s announcement of the European Reassurance Initiative of up to $1 billion to fund increased rotational presence and exercises across Europe; and Germany’s contributions, which will include support to NATO’s Baltic air policing mission this September.

“Secretary Hagel thanked Minister von der Leyen for Germany’s contributions and sacrifices in Afghanistan. Germany has been the third largest contributor of troops and the leader of Regional Command North. We welcome Germany’s willingness to continue leading Regional Command North as part of NATO’s post-2014 Resolute Support mission.

“Secretary Hagel and Minister von der Leyen also discussed the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales. The United States and Germany count on one another to be credible, capable partners, as leaders in both the transatlantic alliance and the global community. And as the crises in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine remind us, our leadership roles require investment in ready, modern, agile militaries.

“Both leaders recognized the importance of investing in capabilities that will strengthen our collective security and agreed that, as we approach the NATO Summit in Wales this September, we must renew our commitments to transatlantic security.”

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