Immediate Release

Readout of U.S.–Turkey High Level Defense Group Meeting

Nov. 16, 2021

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

The U.S.-Turkey High Level Defense Group met in the Pentagon on November 16.  Building on recent conversations between U.S. President Biden and Turkish President Erdogan and between Secretary of Defense Austin and Minister of National Defense Akar, the delegations discussed a wide range of functional and regional issues.  This included transnational priorities, such as defeating terrorism, and regional security in Afghanistan, Africa, South Caucasus, Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.  Laura Cooper, performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (PDO ASD) for International Security Affairs and the Department lead for discussions, also highlighted cooperation on the Black Sea.

The two sides also discussed bilateral defense cooperation, our shared goal of increasing longstanding defense ties, and PDO ASD Cooper reaffirmed the United States’ recognition of Turkey’s military modernization needs in support of NATO. The delegations agreed to a follow-up meeting in Ankara.