Hagel Hosts German Defense Minister at Pentagon
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 30, 2013 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel hosted German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière today at the Pentagon and commended Germany's leadership in Europe and among the NATO allies, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, welcomes German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere at the Pentagon, April 30, 2013. The two defense leaders met to discuss issues of mutual concern. DOD photo by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
In a statement summarizing their meeting, Little said the two leaders discussed Germany's essential support to allied operations in Afghanistan.
“Secretary Hagel thanked Germany for its vital leadership within the International Security Assistance Force, particularly its leadership of Regional Command North,” Little said. “Secretary Hagel applauded Germany’s recent announcement to continue security support to Afghanistan post-2014 and discussed U.S. considerations for an enduring presence.”
Hagel also appreciates Germany for its support to NATO's defensive mission in Turkey along the Syrian border, the press secretary said. Noting that Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States have contributed Patriot anti-missile batteries to augment Turkey's defenses, he added that “the mission demonstrates the solidarity of the alliance against common threats.”
The two defense leaders also discussed NATO’s future and the importance of the alliance, Little said.
“Secretary Hagel affirmed that NATO is not only the cornerstone of the transatlantic relationship, but the benchmark for multilateral security cooperation around the world,” he said. “The leaders discussed ideas for improving NATO’s capabilities and approaches for ensuring NATO remains capable of meeting future security challenges.”