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Immediate Release

Statement by Pentagon Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis on U.S.-Russia Video Conference

Feb. 8, 2017

The Department of Defense today held a video conference co-chaired by Ken Handelman, performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs and Rear Adm. Michael J. Dumont, deputy director for strategic initiatives, Joint Staff J5, with Russian Ministry of Defense counterparts. This was the latest session of our dialogue with the Russian Ministry of Defense under the memorandum of understanding for the safety of flight in Syria to ensure that each side continues to adhere to agreed-upon measures to mitigate incidents in the air over Syria.

Department officials discussed ongoing work regarding the safety of operations since the two sides last met. The two sides reiterated the utility of adhering to the memorandum of understanding to avoid accidents and misunderstandings in the air space over Syria.

Today's meeting follows previous video conferences between the Department of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Defense on this topic.