UK, US defense secretaries meet in London

Two secretaries discuss need to modernize NATO, call on members to meet their 2% defense spending commitments 

UK, US defense secretaries meet in London

World Bulletin / News Desk

British Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon welcomed his U.S. counterpart James Mattis in London in his first visit to the country on Friday.

The two secretaries discussed various issues, including "the need for NATO modernization and increased defense spending by all members, progress in the fight against extremism, including Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and joint equipment and defense trade programmes," a government statement said.

Fallon and Mattis "agreed steps for NATO modernization, including simpler command structures, and reviewed the pressing need for NATO members to meet their 2% defense spending commitments".

Fallon once more reiterated a call on countries not meeting the 2% commitment to "increase their defense budget annually in real terms, in order to demonstrate greater burden sharing."

The British secretary also praised the close relations between the two countries, saying "we have no closer friend than the United States and across the globe our nations are standing side by side in defending our values".

"Together we’re showing leadership on the world stage - tackling extremism, standing up to Russian aggression and modernizing NATO, making it fitter, faster and more agile," he added.

Mattis, for his part, said that the special relationship between the two allies was a "source of strength for our two nations, standing together in defense of our freedoms".

"It is demonstrated daily in our military-to-military interactions across a host of domains, and our relationship grows in strength with the mutual respect and friendship we share," he added.

Fallon also announced a £90 million investment to support the U.K.'s new F-35 Lightning aircraft in a press conference following the meeting.

Last Mod: 31 Mart 2017, 17:00
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