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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 403-12
May 20, 2012

Readout of Secretary Panetta’s Meeting with United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, the Right Honourable Philip Hammond

            Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:

            "Secretary Panetta held a bilateral meeting this afternoon with the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Defence, the Right Honourable Philip Hammond.  They discussed the unfolding transition in Afghanistan, the importance of supporting a sustainable Afghan National Security Force, and the need to frame an effective enduring relationship with Afghanistan beyond 2014.  They also touched on broader security challenges in Southwest Asia, as well as the P5+1 process with Iran and the on-going crisis in Syria.  Finally, they signaled support for identifying ways to strengthen NATO capabilities, which is expected to be a main topic of conversation tonight at a dinner Secretary Panetta is hosting for his fellow defense ministers."