Hagel, Turkish Foreign Minister Discuss Bilateral Relationship
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2013 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship and support to the NATO alliance during a Pentagon meeting today with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Carl Woog, assistant Pentagon press secretary, said this is the second time Hagel has met with Davutoglu at the Pentagon. “The two leaders have enjoyed a long working relationship for many years,” he added.
“Secretary Hagel appreciated the opportunity to share insights on regional security matters, including the ongoing crisis in Syria and the imperative to eliminate the regime's chemical weapons and achieve a political transition,” Woog said. “Secretary Hagel also praised Turkey's actions to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Syria.”
In response to Turkey's request for the alliance to continue augmenting Turkey's air defenses, Hagel conveyed to Davutoglu that the United States has decided to continue its contribution of two Patriot missile batteries under NATO command and control for up to one additional year, Woog said.
“The United States is committed to maintaining regional security, and supports efforts with Turkey and other allies and partners to ensure regional stability and deterrence against common threats,” he added. “This renewal of the Patriot deployment is and will remain defensive only and represents a concrete demonstration of alliance solidarity and resolve.”