Today, Secretary Carter met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon to discuss critical transatlantic security issues, including Russian actions in Ukraine and the status of NATO assurance activities, instability in North Africa and the Middle East, and allied efforts in Afghanistan. This was Secretary Carter’s first meeting with the secretary general.
The two leaders discussed the importance of the common values shared by the allies and the secretary emphasized that when we look for allies to help defend these values, we always start with Europe.
Secretary Carter emphasized our intent to participate in NATO reassurance efforts agreed to at the Wales Summit, including the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). He expressed appreciation for allied participation in both NATO and U.S. assurance efforts in Europe and stressed the importance he places on allies following up on their summit commitment to strive towards spending two percent of GDP on defense.
The secretary also expressed appreciation for the continued support by allies for the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and the need for continued support through 2016.
Both pledged to consult in the months to come as allied defense ministers prepare for the June ministerial and both looked forward to the secretary general’s next visit to Washington, D.C.
Release No: NR-101-15
March 26, 2015