Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met with French Minister of Defense Florence Parly yesterday during the Munich Security Conference, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a readout of the meeting.
The defense secretary and Parly agreed on the need for a strong stance against the threat posed by the Iranian ballistic missile program and the need to address Iran's proliferation of ballistic missiles to terrorists and militants, White said.
Mattis thanked the defense minister for French leadership in counterterrorism operations in Africa and the Levant, which have been critical for restoring stability, she said. He reiterated the global coalition must remain focused on the fight to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and keep pressure on the remnants of the terrorist organization to ensure they do not regroup, White said.
The defense secretary also stressed that a strong Europe is a better security partner, but that E.U. defense initiatives should complement, not compete with NATO, she said.
Mattis thanked Parly for France's contributions to global security, White said, and the two leaders agreed to continue strengthening U.S.-French defense cooperation.