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Hagel, Afghan Defense Minister Discuss Progress, Security

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2014 – On the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Afghan Defense Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi discussed progress in the election audit process and the security situation in Afghanistan, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Kirby said 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 Mohammadi for the gains Afghan and International Security Assistance Force forces have made against the Taliban this year and stressed U.S. commitment to the Resolute Support and follow-on counterterrorism missions next year, pending a signed bilateral security agreement, the press secretary added.

“Minister Mohammadi reassured Secretary Hagel that both presidential candidates continue to support a BSA,” he said. “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, Kirby said.

 

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