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Pentagon Announces Carter Trip to Asia-Pacific, Middle East

April 8, 2016 , DOD News

Defense Secretary Ash Carter will depart tomorrow on a two-week trip to the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East, according to a statement issued today by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Marco Rodriguez, an engineer assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, welds and prepares metal framing, April 2, 2016, at San Nicolas Elementary School in Capiz, Philippines, as part of a humanitarian civic assistance project during Exercise Balikatan 2016. The construction project is one of several taking place during this year's exercise. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Hilda M. Becerra
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Marco Rodriguez, an engineer assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, welds and prepares metal framing, April 2, 2016, at San Nicolas Elementary School in Capiz, Philippines, as part of a humanitarian civic assistance project during Exercise Balikatan 2016. The construction project is one of several taking place during this year's exercise. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Hilda M. Becerra
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Marco Rodriguez, an engineer assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, welds and prepares metal framing, April 2, 2016, at San Nicolas Elementary School in Capiz, Philippines, as part of a humanitarian civic assistance project during Exercise Balikatan 2016. The construction project is one of several taking place during this year's exercise. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Hilda M. Becerra
Balikatan 2016 Civic Assistance
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Marco Rodriguez, an engineer assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, welds and prepares metal framing, April 2, 2016, at San Nicolas Elementary School in Capiz, Philippines, as part of a humanitarian civic assistance project during Exercise Balikatan 2016. The construction project is one of several taking place during this year's exercise. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Hilda M. Becerra
Photo By: Cpl. Hilda Becerra
VIRIN: 160402-M-BN829-038

Cook said the secretary will use his trip to advance two of his key international priorities: solidifying the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and accelerating the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In the Asia-Pacific, he said, Carter will advance the United States’ growing security where it’s developing new partnerships and modernizing long-standing alliances in both India and the Philippines.

In India, the secretary will visit both Goa and Delhi as the guest of Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, Cook said.

In the Philippines, the press secretary said, Carter will visit Manila and a number of areas where the U.S. military is participating in the annual bilateral exercise Balikatan.

In the Middle East, the secretary will visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for meetings with his counterparts, he said.

In Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh, Carter and Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman will convene a U.S. Gulf Cooperation Council defense ministerial ahead of President Barack Obama's participation in the U.S.-GCC Leaders’ Summit, the press secretary said.

This will be an important forum to strengthen U.S.-GCC defense partnerships, Cook noted, including by reviewing and discussing the way ahead for the counter-ISIL campaign and joint regional defense initiatives that we all committed to during the 2015 U.S.-GCC Camp David Summit last May.