Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith will travel to Romania, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Italy this week.
In Romania, Mr. Feith will meet with President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, Foreign Minister Mircea Dan Geoana and Minister of Defense Ioan Mircea Pascu. The visit to Romania presents an opportunity to convey the U.S. government's appreciation for Romania's contributions to the War on Terrorism and for Romania's conclusion of a bilateral Article 98 agreement with the U.S. dealing with the International Criminal Court. Romania is the first country to conclude this important agreement with the U.S. Feith will also discuss U.S.-Romania defense cooperation and Romania's NATO candidacy.
In Pakistan, Mr. Feith will head a U.S. delegation for the first meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group since 1997, in light of renewed U.S.-Pakistan defense cooperation in the War on Terrorism. The meeting is designed to strengthen bilateral ties by developing plans for military-to-military training and exchanges, as well as closer cooperation in Operation Enduring Freedom. The meeting will also review defense sales and counterterrorism.
In Afghanistan, Mr. Feith will be meeting with key Afghan government officials, U.N Secretary General's Special Representative Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, Major General Hilmi Akin Zorlu, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). He will also meet with Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill, commanding general, Combined Joint Task Force-180 at Bagram.
Mr. Feith's visit to Afghanistan will focus on three priority issues: Afghan National Army training, security in Afghanistan, and relation building with Afghan allies.
In Italy, Mr. Feith will meet with senior Italian defense and foreign ministry officials to discuss the Global War on Terrorism and NATO issues, including the Warsaw Ministerial and preparations for the Prague NATO Summit.