February 16th, 2017 11:42 EST
Mattis, French Defense Minister Meet in Brussels
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met in Brussels today on the margins of a NATO defense ministers conference in Brussels, a spokesperson for Mattis said in a statement.
Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins said Mattis conveyed his respect for the performance of French forces conducting counterterrorism operations in the Levant and Africa, and that Le Drian noted the strength and continuity of military cooperation between the United States and France, including fighting side by side as part of the campaign to deliver a lasting defeat to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist group.
Commitments Contribute to Unity
"In their first meeting, Secretary Mattis and Minister Le Drian discussed how allied commitments to NATO contribute to the unity of the alliance," Higgins said in the statement. "They also discussed a range of other mutual security issues, including instability in the Middle East and North Africa. Both pledged to work closely in the coming months."
Mattis is in Brussels to attend the defense ministers conference and to meet with partners in the counter-ISIS coalition, and he also will attend the Munich Security Conference in Germany during this overseas trip.
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