Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Call with Iraqi Minister of Defense Arfan al-Hayali

Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke today by phone with Iraqi Defense Minister Arfan al-Hayali to discuss the strong U.S.-Iraq defense partnership in the fight against ISIS. Secretary Mattis congratulated Minister Hayali on his new position and praised the Iraqis’ hard-won gains against ISIS- most recently in eastern Mosul. Both discussed planning for operations to liberate western Mosul. Secretary Mattis and Minister Hayali affirmed their commitment to continued U.S.-Iraq cooperation and a strong partnership that will enable the Iraqis to deal ISIS a lasting defeat.

Release No: NR-050-17
Feb. 8, 2017

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Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Call with Mexico Secretary of National Defense General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda and Secretary of the Navy Admiral Vidal Soberón Sanz

Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis provided the following readout:

Secretary Mattis spoke with his Mexican counterparts, Secretary of National Defense General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda and Secretary of the Navy Admiral Vidal Soberón Sanz. Their introductory conversation focused on the importance of the U.S.-Mexico defense relationship.   Secretary Mattis noted the bilateral commitment to strengthen our close bilateral defense relationship and to improving cooperation in areas of mutual interest.  Secretary Mattis lauded Mexico’s growing leadership in the region and commended Mexico’s willingness to host the Central American Security Conference in July, assume the presidency of the Inter American Defense Board in 2017, and to host the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in 2018.  The participants stated their commitment to the North American Defense Ministerial process, and working with Canada to address mutual defense challenges to North America.

Release No: NR-049-17
Feb. 7, 2017

Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Call with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani

Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke today by telephone with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan to discuss the enduring U.S.-Afghan security relationship.  Secretary Mattis thanked President Ghani for his leadership and emphasized the importance of the government of national unity to the stability of Afghanistan.  President Ghani affirmed his commitment to reforms, especially eliminating corruption, and highlighted the importance of a sustained U.S.-Afghan relationship for the security of Afghanistan and the region.  In light of the recent attacks, including today’s attack against the Afghan Supreme Court, Secretary Mattis offered his condolences for the sacrifices of the Afghan people and commended President Ghani’s unwavering commitment in the face of the enemy. Both Secretary Mattis and President Ghani expressed their desire to maintain a strong relationship, and look forward to engaging again in the near future.

Release No: NR-048-17
Feb. 7, 2017

Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Meetings with Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan

Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis hosted the Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan at the Pentagon today, his first time hosting a defense counterpart as secretary of defense.

Secretary Mattis and Minister Sajjan reaffirmed the U.S.-Canada defense relationship, emphasizing their commitments to NORAD and continental defense, and agreeing to deepen cooperation to protect North America, noting that 2018 will be the 60th anniversary of NORAD. Secretary Mattis addressed enhancing North American defense relations and the North American Defense Ministerial, which he offered to host this spring in Washington, D.C.

The secretary and minister discussed international priorities and operations, as well as the upcoming NATO Defense Ministerial. The secretary and minister discussed U.S. and Canadian leadership as Framework Nations for Enhanced Forward Presence, members of the international counter-ISIL coalition, and support for United Nations peacekeeping. Secretary Mattis thanked Canada for its commitments to NATO and the counter-ISIL campaign, and agreed to continued discussions with Canada and other coalition members on the progress of the U.S. counter-ISIL strategy review.

The secretary and minister also discussed the importance of defense investments and modernization to ensure continued cooperation.

The secretary commended the minister for his consistent leadership, noting the need for both the U.S. and Canada to continue to represent our shared values and advance security, prosperity, and freedom. The two leaders noted the long relationship between the U.S. military and Canadian armed forces and stated they looked forward to deepening the U.S.-Canada relationship and continuing to work closely together.

Release No: NR-047-17
Feb. 6, 2017

General Officer Assignment

The chief of staff, Air Force announces the assignment of the following general officer:

Brig. Gen. Kirk W. Smith, director, force management and development, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, to deputy commander, Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Release No: NR-046-17
Feb. 3, 2017

Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Meetings with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Cmdr. Gary Ross provided the following readout:‎

Secretary Mattis met with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today in Tokyo, Japan to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.- Japan alliance.

During the meeting, ‎the secretary emphasized the priority the new administration places on the Asia-Pacific by visiting the region during his first overseas trip and specifically on our long-term alliance with Japan. He also underscored that the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to defend Japan in the face of common threats, such as those posed by North Korea.

Secretary Mattis confirmed the long-standing U.S. position on the Senkaku Islands and thanked Prime Minister Abe for‎ Japan’s noteworthy contributions to regional and global security and to the U.S.- Japan alliance.‎ He also thanked Japan for hosting 54,000 U.S. troops and their dependents to support the alliance. Finally, Secretary Mattis thanked Prime Minister Abe for Japan’s continued support to U.S. force realignment plans in Japan, and reaffirmed the alliance’s unwavering commitment to the Futenma Replacement Facility in Okinawa.

Release No: NR-045-17
Feb. 3, 2017

Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Meetings with ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-Se and Minister of National Defense Han Min-Koo‎

Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Cmdr. Gary Ross provided the following readout:‎

Secretary of Defense James Mattis held separate meetings with Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-Se, and ROK Minister of National Defense Han Min-Koo today in Seoul, South Korea.

Secretary Mattis noted that his first trip as secretary of defense to the ROK underscored the priority the Trump Administration places on the Asia-Pacific region, and on strengthening the U.S.-ROK alliance. Secretary Mattis said that the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to the defense of the ROK people. He further emphasized that any attack on the United States, or its allies, will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming.‎

During both meetings, Secretary Mattis and his ROK counterparts discussed the regional security ‎environment, including the evolving threats posed by North Korea, and determined the need to continue to consult and cooperate closely together. Secretary Mattis and Minister Han further resolved to move forward with critical defensive measures, such as deploying a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to the ROK, enhancing alliance readiness, and taking steps to improve trilateral cooperation with Japan.

Secretary Mattis concluded both meetings by reiterating that he looked forward to working closely with Minister Yun and Minister Han to further strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance.

Release No: NR-044-17
Feb. 3, 2017