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Hagel meets German Defence Minister

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Hagel meets German Defence Minister
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Washington: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has met his German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere at the Pentagon, during which the two leaders held discussions over a host of issued including the current situation in Syria, the future of NATO and Afghanistan.

The two leaders discussed Germany's essential support to allied operations in Afghanistan, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

Hagel thanked Germany for its vital leadership within the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), particularly its leadership of Regional Command (North), Little said.

The US Defense Secretary applauded Germany's recent announcement to continue security support to Afghanistan post-2014, and discussed US considerations for an enduring presence.

"Hagel appreciates Germany for its support to NATO's defensive mission in Turkey along the Syrian border. Germany, the Netherlands, and the US have contributed Patriot anti-missile batteries to augment Turkey's defences. The mission demonstrates the solidarity of the alliance against common threats," Little said.

In the meeting, Hagel and de Maiziere discussed the future of NATO and the importance of the alliance, Little said.

Hagel affirmed that NATO is not only the cornerstone of transatlantic relationship but the benchmark for multilateral security cooperation around the world, Little said.

The leaders discussed ideas for improving NATO's capabilities and approaches for ensuring NATO remains capable of meeting future security challenges, the Pentagon spokesperson said.

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