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Immediate Release

Readout of Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With U.K. Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and his U.K. counterpart, Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace, met in London April 15, 2021, to reaffirm the unbreakable bond of the U.S.-U.K. strategic partnership. 

The leaders discussed numerous issues impacting transatlantic security, including Russia’s build-up of forces along Ukraine’s border and in occupied Crimea.  The leaders echoed NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg’s call for Russia to de-escalate the situation and end its military build-up.

The leaders also discussed the decision to bring a responsible and orderly end to the war in Afghanistan, and expressed a commitment for continued support to the Afghan Security Forces.  Secretary Austin pledged to continue consultations going forward, and thanked the U.K. for its unwavering commitment, leadership and sacrifice in Afghanistan.

Secretary Wallace thanked the Defense Department for its input into the U.K.’s recently published Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, or Integrated Review.

Secretary Austin noted that the U.K. is our closest and most capable Ally and looks forward to working closely together on the development of the next National Defense Strategy.

Both leaders noted that the U.S. and the U.K. share a unique and vital relationship that is the foundation of our combined efforts to protect shared security and meet global challenges. 

The Secretaries concluded the meeting by signing a Joint Statement which recognizes the benefits of past collaboration and commits both departments to further cooperation on future strategy development. 

The text of the joint statement can be found here