Secretary Carter Travels to Asia, Middle East and Europe to Thank U.S. Troops and Meet With Key Partners and Allies
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will embark on an around-the-world trip Dec. 3-16 to thank deployed U.S. troops for their service over the holidays, meet with important regional partners, and advance U.S. priorities including the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and the lasting defeat of ISIL. The two week trip will include stops in California, Japan, India, Bahrain, Israel, Italy and the United Kingdom.
On Dec. 3, Secretary Carter will begin his trip in Simi Valley, California, where he will deliver the closing speech at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum. He will also accept the forum’s “Peace Through Strength” award.
Secretary Carter will depart California and head to Japan to visit U.S. troops in the region on Dec. 6, and meet with senior Japanese officials. The next day he will meet with Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada to underscore the long-term strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, and build upon the unprecedented progress in U.S.-Japan security cooperation. After their bilateral meeting, he will hold a joint press conference with Minister Inada at the ministry of defense.
From Japan, Secretary Carter travels to New Delhi, India, for meetings on Dec. 8, with Indian officials including Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar. He will look to build on the strategic handshake between the two nations, and to continue the momentum in the relationship over the past decade, including expanded defense cooperation during his time as secretary.
On Dec. 10, Secretary Carter will deliver the opening speech at the annual International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. While in Bahrain, Secretary Carter will also visit sailors aboard USS Monterey, and thank them and their families for their service over the holidays.
On Monday Dec. 12, Secretary Carter will be in Israel to meet with Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman and attend a formal ceremony to welcome the arrival of the first Israeli F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. The arrival of the aircraft highlights the close defense cooperation between the United States and Israel. He will deliver remarks at the ceremony and later hold a joint press conference with Minister Lieberman.
From Israel, Secretary Carter will visit U.S. troops stationed in Italy from Dec. 13-14, to thank them for their service in support of U.S. and coalition operations worldwide, including deterring Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and securing NATO’s southern flank.
Secretary Carter’s next stop is London, where he and UK Secretary of State for Defense Michael Fallon will cohost a ministerial of the leading nations in the counter-ISIL coalition on Dec. 15. Discussions at the ministerial will focus on the current status of the campaign, the capabilities needed to secure and stabilize Mosul and Raqqah, and the future of the coalition in addressing the external metastases of ISIL. Secretary Carter and Secretary Fallon will also hold a joint press conference at the conclusion of the ministerial.
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