Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Spanish Minister of Defense Margarita Robles

May 14, 2021

Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Jamal Brown provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone today with Spanish Minister of Defense Margarita Robles to affirm the strong bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Spain. The Secretary recognized Spain as a valued NATO Ally and reliable friend of the United States. He thanked Minister Robles for hosting U.S. forces at Naval Station Rota and MorĂ³n Air Base, and welcomed her remarks made on climate security during President Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April.

The two leaders discussed key global security issues including NATO and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Secretary Austin thanked Minister Robles for Spain’s faithful contributions to the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and noted the safe return of Spain’s last forces from Afghanistan on May 13.  Both leaders recognized the ongoing threat posed by ISIS, and the need to continue supporting the Iraqi Security Forces to enable them to lead effectively the fight against ISIS.

Secretary Austin recognized Spain’s significant contributions to Mediterranean and African security, as the two leaders discussed the situation along Europe’s southern flank. The Secretary highlighted the potentially destabilizing role that malign Chinese and Russian influence can play in Africa.  Both leaders agreed on the importance of safeguarding sensitive supply chains, infrastructure and technology.