Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge provided the following readout:
Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work met with Latvian Minister of Defense Raimonds Bergmanis today at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Deputy Secretary Work reaffirmed the United States’ iron-clad commitment to upholding NATO’s Article 5 obligations to defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all 28 NATO members. The leaders went on to reflect on the success of the July 8-9 Warsaw Summit, noting that NATO allies are now more ready than ever to act together to deter external aggression.
Deputy Secretary Work thanked Minister Bergmanis for Latvia’s deployment of trainers to the Counter-ISIL coalition in Iraq and its commitment to dedicate two percent of its GDP to defense spending by 2018. He also applauded Latvia’s efforts to procure new systems that will increase its military capabilities, as well as its interoperability with other NATO allies.
Deputy Secretary Work said that the U.S. will continue to execute a robust exercise program in Latvia and throughout the alliance’s eastern flank, noting that the U.S. will be deploying an additional armored brigade combat team to Europe. Both Deputy Secretary Work and Minister Bergmanis stated that they look forward to implementing NATO’s enhanced forward presence and to working together in the future.
Release No: NR-268-16
July 19, 2016