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Immediate Release

Readout of Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper’s Meeting With NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

June 26, 2020

Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman provided the following readout:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hosted Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper for a bilateral meeting today during Secretary Esper’s trip to NATO headquarters in Belgium.

Secretary Esper used the opportunity to follow-up with the Secretary General on the broad range of security challenges discussed during last week’s NATO defense ministerial.  They discussed the importance of ensuring a future health crisis does not become a security crisis, including support for Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Tod Wolters’ plan to prepare for a potential second wave.

Secretary Esper also discussed Russia’s destabilizing behavior in the region, arms control, the counter-ISIS fight, reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, defense spending, and the importance of key partnerships.

Secretary Esper reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO and transatlantic security, and the importance of working together to address security challenges.