IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's meeting with Afghan Minister of Defense Bismullah Khan Mohammadi


Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following readout:

Secretary Hagel met today with Afghan Minister of Defense Bismullah Khan Mohammadi to discuss progress in the election audit process, as well as the security situation in Afghanistan.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Wales.

Secretary Hagel praised the work of Afghan security forces for their efforts in providing security for both elections, and noted their efforts to remain separate from the political process.

He also congratulated Minister Mohammadi for the gains Afghan and ISAF forces have made against the Taliban this year and stressed U.S. commitment to the Resolute Support and follow-on counter-terrorism missions next year, pending a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).

Minister Mohammadi reassured Secretary Hagel that both presidential candidates continue to support a BSA. He indicated solid progress toward the completion of the election audit and spoke positively of the continued negotiations between the two candidates toward forming a unity government.

Both leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to a continued close defense relationship.