Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met today with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in separate statements issued today.
Longstanding Defense Relationships
The secretary reaffirmed the United States’ longstanding defense relationships with Germany and Norway during his discussions with the ministers, White said.
During their meeting, Mattis and the German defense minister discussed a broad range of issues, emphasizing the importance of the U.S-German relationship both bilaterally and in the NATO alliance, White said.
Mattis thanked the German minister for her country's strong leadership in a complex global security environment, White said.
Commitment to International Security
During his meeting with Bakke-Jensen, Mattis thanked the minister for Norway's commitment to international security, including its significant contributions to NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and its leadership on security in the Nordic-Baltic region and the North Atlantic, White said.
The secretary also thanked Norway’s defense minister for the opportunity to improve interoperability and strengthen defense cooperation through training and exercises between the armed forces of both nations, White said.