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Release No: NR-023-13
November 18, 2013

Readout of Secretary Hagel's Meeting with Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog provided the following readout:

Secretary Hagel welcomed Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to the Pentagon this morning for a meeting on the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship and support to the NATO alliance. This is the second time Secretary Hagel has met with Minister Davutoglu at the Pentagon. The two leaders have enjoyed a long working relationship for many years.

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. Secretary Hagel also praised Turkey's actions to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Syria.

Secretary Hagel conveyed to Minister Davutoglu that the United States has decided to continue its contribution of two Patriot batteries under NATO command and control for up to one additional year, in response to Turkey's request for the alliance to continue augmenting Turkey's air defenses.

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. This renewal of the Patriot deployment is and will remain defensive only and represents a concrete demonstration of alliance solidarity and resolve.

Secretary Hagel looks forward to continuing to work with Turkish leaders to strengthen the alliance between our two nations.

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