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Mattis Meets with Turkish Defense Minister

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2017 — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli today at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement following the meeting.

The two leaders met to reaffirm the longstanding defense relationship between the United States and Turkey, she said. Mattis and Canikli last met Aug. 23 in Ankara, White said, and the secretary thanked the minister for Turkey's continued, critical contributions to global security and the fight to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Mattis acknowledged the threats posed to Turkey, White said, and reiterated that the U.S. will continue to stand with Turkey in its fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and all terrorist threats.

The defense secretary and Canikli agreed to continue their full range of bilateral defense activities and consultations, she said, and to look for ways to further strengthen defense cooperation in the future.