In the first visit to the Pentagon by a United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Press Secretary George Little said.
“Secretary Hagel congratulated Secretary General Ban on his outstanding leadership at the helm of the United Nations during one of the most turbulent and challenging times in international affairs,” Little said in a statement summarizing the meeting.
Hagel and Ban discussed current and potential future U.N. peacekeeping missions of mutual concern, focusing on the distinctive challenges peacekeepers face in unstable environments, Little said, and the secretary general expressed appreciation for the contributions the United States has made to peacekeeping.
“The two leaders discussed the heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula and the need for North Korea to live up to its international obligations and commitments, as well as the deteriorating security situation in Syria,” Little said.
Ban expressed his deepest sympathies and condolences to the American people for those killed and injured in the recent bombings in Boston, he added.
“Secretary Hagel thanked Secretary General Ban for his friendship and stated the Department of Defense will strengthen its collaboration with the United Nations,” Little said.