Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke today by telephone with Italian Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti to discuss the strong U.S.-Italian defense partnership.
In their first conversation, Secretary Mattis thanked Minister Pinotti for Italy’s leadership and contributions in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan and in securing Europe’s southern flank. He praised the professionalism, capabilities and compassion of Italy’s deployed forces, saying that Italian forces represent the best that Italy has to offer. He highlighted specifically Italy’s carabinieri who are performing the important work of stability police training in several theaters.
Secretary Mattis also noted his desire to consult closely with Italy on security issues of mutual concern, especially Libya. Both he and the minister pledged to consult further at the upcoming NATO defense ministerial in February.
Release No: NR-040-17
Jan. 30, 2017