Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Albanian Minister of Defense Niko Peleshi to the Pentagon today where they reviewed 30 years of bilateral defense cooperation between the Department of Defense and the Albanian Armed Forces.
The Secretary thanked Minister Peleshi for Albania's hosting of elements of the Defender-Europe 21 exercise and a contingent of U.S. forces. Secretary Austin and Minister Peleshi discussed recent cyber defense assistance provided to Albania by the New Jersey National Guard and agreed to continue working together to bolster the cyber defense capabilities of the Albanian Ministry of Defense.
Secretary Austin commended Minister Peleshi for Albania's unyielding support for Ukraine, including the provision of lethal assistance, and for Albania's contributions to NATO missions in the Balkans and Central Europe to support NATO's deterrence and defense mission.