Remarks by Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper With NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Feb. 12, 2020
Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DR. MARK T. ESPER:  Thank you, Jens, thank you very much for your great leadership; you've been fantastic, a great supporter of the alliance, and I commend you for that. As you know, this is my third or fourth ministerial now. I know we have a busy agenda over the next couple of days, you've mentioned many of it:  how we ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS; our mission in Iraq; how do we look at expanding that over time. We're also going to talk about Afghanistan and the way ahead, and then of course, of utmost importance to the alliance is alliance readiness, and that begins with increased burden sharing, a commitment to the 2% of GDP. So a lot of important issues to discuss; but again, thank you for your leadership, and as you know we've had a number of good meetings so far, a number of good bilaterals, so I look forward to a good two days.  Thank you once again.