Defense Secretary Ash Carter yesterday met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon to discuss critical transatlantic security issues, according to a DoD news release.
The two leaders discussed Russian actions in Ukraine and the status of NATO assurance activities, instability in North Africa and the Middle East, and allied efforts in Afghanistan, the release said.
It was Carter's first meeting with Stoltenberg, the release said.
The two leaders also discussed the importance of the common values shared by the allies, according to the release.
Carter emphasized U.S. intent to participate in NATO reassurance efforts agreed to at the Wales Summit, including the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, the release said.
Carter expressed appreciation for allied participation in both NATO and U.S. assurance efforts in Europe, the release continued, and stressed the importance of allies following up on their summit commitment to strive toward spending two percent of gross domestic product on defense.
According to the release, Carter also expressed appreciation for the continued support by NATO allies for the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and the need for continued support through 2016.
Both leaders pledged to consult in the months to come as allied defense ministers prepare for the June ministerial, and both looked forward to the secretary general’s next visit to Washington, D.C., the release said.