Release
Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Oct. 4, 2021

Department of Defense Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Anton T. Semelroth provided the following readout:

Secretary Austin welcomed Secretary General Stoltenberg back to the Pentagon today as part of the Administration’s continuing effort to strengthen NATO.  This is the leaders’ eleventh virtual or in-person meeting since February.

The Secretary thanked Secretary General Stoltenberg for his steady leadership of the Alliance and for his efforts to keep NATO strong militarily, make it stronger politically, and give it a more global view.  He highlighted Allies’ cooperation during the military drawdown and subsequent civilian evacuation from Afghanistan.

Secretary Austin assured Secretary General Stoltenberg of the United States’ continuing commitment to the Alliance.  Both reaffirmed that NATO is the essential forum for consultation, decision, and action on transatlantic security and defense issues in a dangerous and competitive world.

The Secretary and Secretary General focused on preparing for this month’s NATO Defense ministerial and continuing the Alliance’s military adaptation and progress on responsibility sharing. They also discussed ways NATO can enhance its role in the fight against terrorism, reviewed progress on decisions taken at the June 2021 NATO Summit, and looked forward to 2022 Summit in Madrid.