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Published:March 30th, 2016 11:29 EST

Ash Carter, Estonia`s Defense Minister Discuss Bilateral Defense Relationship

By SOP newswire3

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Estonian Defense Minister Hannes Hanso met at the Pentagon yesterday to discuss the defense relationship between their nations, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Cook said Carter thanked Hanso for Estonia`s support for operations in Afghanistan, Africa and the Balkans, and for its support for the coalition`s campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.


The secretary underscored the importance of accelerating the defeat of ISIL and expressed appreciation to Minister Hanso for Estonia`s willingness to consider sending trainers to support the Iraqi security forces later this year, " Cook said.

Carter and Hanso also discussed Russia`s destabilizing activities in Europe, including the Baltic region, the press secretary said, and the continued threat posed by this concerning behavior.

NATO Summit

The defense leaders also discussed the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, and the importance of enhancing allies` readiness to address and deter threats across NATO`s eastern and southern flanks, Cook said. 

Secretary Carter reinforced the United States` enduring and ironclad commitment to Estonia`s security, as demonstrated through the increasing U.S. force presence in Europe, the European Reassurance Initiative, and the robust schedule of joint military exercises in the region, " he added.

The secretary also thanked his Estonian counterpart for hosting U.S. and NATO forces in Estonia, and for Estonia`s leadership in consistently meeting NATO`s defense spending goal, Cook said.

In addition, the press secretary said, the two defense leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation on a range of fronts, particularly on defensive cyber capabilities through the Tallinn-based and NATO-accredited Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, as well as on defense industrial activities.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia