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American Forces Press Service

Panetta Discusses Cooperation With French Defense Minister

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta met today with newly appointed French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss Afghan transition prior to the upcoming NATO Summit, a senior Pentagon spokesman said.

“Secretary Panetta congratulated Minister Le Drian on his appointment as Defense Minister, emphasized the outstanding cooperation between our two countries on many defense issues, and thanked Le Drian particularly for the significant contributions that France has made to [the International Security Assistance Forces],” said George Little, acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

Little said the secretary French defense minister talked about “strategies for investing in defense during times of austerity and looked forward to the conversation on defense capabilities at the NATO Chicago Summit.”

The spokesman said Panetta and Le Drian also addressed Middle East issues.

“The two ministers committed to working closely together on Iran, Syria, and the Arab Spring, where Secretary Panetta praised French leadership and resolve in addressing these challenges," Little said.

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