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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: NR-516-14
October 12, 2014

Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's Phone Call with Turkish Minister of Defense Ismet Yilmaz

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

Secretary Hagel spoke today via telephone with Turkish Minister of Defense Ismet Yilmaz. The two leaders focused their discussion on the regional threat posed by ISIL and the security situation in both Iraq and Syria.

Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Yilmaz for Turkey's willingness to contribute to coalition efforts, to include hosting and conducting training for Syrian opposition members. He noted Turkey's expertise in this area and the responsible manner in which Turkey is handling the other challenges this struggle has placed upon the country, in terms of refugees and border security.

The secretary also expressed his gratitude for Turkey's willingness to host a joint Central Command-European Command planning team next week, as we work closely with Turkey to further develop a training regimen.

Both leaders stressed the need to continue taking a comprehensive, strategic approach to the threat posed by ISIL and other extremist groups. Both men also agreed that the Assad regime has, through its own brutality, fostered the current crisis and has long ago surrendered any legitimacy to govern in Syria.

Finally, Secretary Hagel and Minister Yilmaz agreed to continue close, sustained consultations going forward.

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