Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hosted German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen at the Pentagon Friday to exchange perspectives on defense security issues with one of America’s closest allies, according to a statement issued by Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis.
The two leaders discussed the importance of the alliance between the United States and Germany, both bilaterally and as members of NATO, Davis said.
Mattis thanked the German defense minister for her country’s leadership in NATO activities, and acknowledged the role that Germany plays in fighting terrorism, specifically in the counter-ISIL coalition, Davis said.
Mattis also cited the strategic importance of Germany as the host to 35,000 U.S. personnel, the largest U.S. force presence in Europe, the spokesman said.
Davis said both leaders look forward to working together at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels in Belgium and the Munich Security Conference in Germany next week.