Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Phone Call With UK Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace

May 21, 2020

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan R. Hoffman provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper conducted a phone call with U.K. Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace today and underlined the continued importance of the two nations’ respective contributions to NATO.    

Both defense leaders discussed strengthening NATO through mutual support to – and collaboration with – Allies, and maintaining military readiness in the era of constant competition, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary Esper and Secretary Wallace discussed the ongoing operation and conflicts in Afghanistan, against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and the situation in Libya. They also discussed concerns about Russian and Chinese disinformation and agreed to continue to work together to mitigate the effects of this malign activity.

Secretary Esper also expressed his gratitude for the United Kingdom’s continued partnership, and the vital friendship of one of our staunchest Allies.