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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: NR-063-14
February 01, 2014

Read-out of Secretary Hagel's meeting with incoming German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following read-out:

"As part of the Munich Security Conference, Secretary Hagel had his first meeting with incoming German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen.

"The two leaders confirmed their strong commitment to the NATO Alliance, and in particular to the mission in Afghanistan. Secretary Hagel thanked Minister von der Leyen for Germany's leadership in ISAF and for the service and sacrifice of Germany's troops.

"The importance of securing a U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement was noted by both leaders as vital to allowing proper planning for any international troop presence after the NATO mission ends this year. Secretary Hagel made clear that, absent an agreement, the U.S. military would need to begin planning soon for the withdrawal of all American forces from Afghanistan.

"Secretary Hagel also praised Germany's Framework Nation Initiative as a terrific example of how the alliance can capture lessons learned from the interoperability we have fostered over the last decade-plus of war, as well as the potential model for better burden-sharing moving forward.

"Secretary Hagel also thanked Minister von der Leyen for Germany's willingness to contribute to international missions in Africa. He also invited her to visit him in Washington. Minister von der Leyen readily agreed to work that into her schedule." 

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