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Mattis Welcomes Dutch Defense Minister to Pentagon

April 11, 2018 , DOD News
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Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met with Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld of the Netherlands at the Pentagon today.

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis walks up the steps with the Dutch defense minister.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis welcomes Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld of the Netherlands to the Pentagon, April 11, 2018. DoD photo by Air Force Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis walks up the steps with the Dutch defense minister.
Pentagon Arrival
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis welcomes Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld of the Netherlands to the Pentagon, April 11, 2018. DoD photo by Air Force Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.
Photo By: Vernon Young Jr.
VIRIN: 180411-F-IO684-001C

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Pentagon officials said Mattis highlighted the value of the Netherlands to the United States and NATO as a steadfast ally and its pledge to get to increase defense spending to 2 percent of its gross domestic product.

Increased Defense Spending

“Minister Bijleveld discussed the recent publication of the Dutch Defense White Paper, and emphasized her government's $1.5 billion increase in defense spending in 2018,” the statement said. “Secretary Mattis commended the minister for her efforts to modernize her military and improve military readiness.”

In addition, the statement said, Mattis also thanked Bijleveld for continued support to the coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and NATO missions, providing an enhanced forward presence battle group in Lithuania, and Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan.