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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary Carter’s Bilateral Meeting With French Minister of Defense Le Drian

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian today at the Daughters of the American Revolution's Constitution Hall for a bilateral meeting. The United States and France have built, over two centuries, the oldest alliance between two nations on the European and American continents. Today, military cooperation between the countries is stronger than ever, and both are engaged side-by-side in the fight against terrorism, including the campaign to deliver ISIL the lasting defeat it deserves.

During today's meeting, both ministers agreed to build on the strong alliance by signing two documents furthering military cooperation between the United States and France. The first document, the joint statement of intent illustrates how the United States and France have strengthened bilateral cooperation in recent years and identifies areas in which bilateral cooperation will continue to increase in years ahead. The second, the military space cooperation arrangement, identifies opportunities for the two countries to work together in the space environment, establishing an overall framework to implement that joint effort over the next 10 years.

In their fourth meeting in five months, Secretary Carter and Minister Le Drian also discussed a range of other mutual security issues, most importantly the execution of the counter-ISIL coalition military campaign plan. Both acknowledged the significant results Iraqi security forces, enabled by the United States, France, and the rest of our global coalition, have demonstrated in expelling ISIL from Mosul as they near the isolation of the city and continue their deliberate advance. In Syria, the two also discussed the progress local forces continue to make in the isolation of ISIL's so-called capital Raqqah, noting that ISIL finds itself under growing pressure on multiple fronts. The ministers said they look forward to updating their coalition counterparts at the next counter-ISIL ministerial in London in December, on the next steps in the military campaign.

Note: The text of the Joint Statement of Intent can be found here.