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Immediate Release

Readout From Secretary James N. Mattis' Bilateral Meeting With Turkish Minister of Defense

Feb. 15, 2018

Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with Turkish Minister of Defense Nurettin Canikli Wednesday at the NATO Defense Ministerial to reaffirm the longstanding defense relationship between the U.S. and our NATO ally, Turkey.

Secretary Mattis acknowledged Turkey’s legitimate security concerns and reiterated our commitment to help Turkey fight the PKK and threat of insurgency within its borders. 

The two ministers also discussed the complex security environment in Syria, and the danger a resurgent ISIS could pose to all NATO allies. Secretary Mattis called for a renewed focus on the campaign to defeat ISIS and prevent any remnants of the terrorist organization from re-emerging.

Secretary Mattis thanked Minister Canikli for Turkey's contributions to global security. The two leaders agreed to continue strengthening U.S.-Turkey defense cooperation.