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 News Article

Carter Makes First Official Call to British Defense Minister

By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2015 – Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke by telephone today with British Minister of Defense Michael Fallon, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter addresses service members on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 22, 2015. Carter answered questions on various topics and thanked troops for their service. The visit is Carter’s first to Afghanistan as defense secretary. DoD photo by Glenn Fawcett

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Carter, on his first trip to Afghanistan as defense secretary, placed the call from Kandahar, where he was visiting with U.S. troops and receiving briefings on the status of coalition efforts to train, advise and assist Afghan National Security Forces.

The call was Carter's first conversation with a defense counterpart since assuming office, Kirby said, “a reflection of the deep and abiding friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”

Thanks British Defense Minister for Support

Carter thanked Fallon for his leadership and for the United Kingdom’s contributions to global security efforts, including the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and the ongoing campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL.

The leaders discussed the security situation in Ukraine, NATO revitalization efforts and the importance of innovation in the process of developing modern military capabilities, Kirby said.

In terms of developing such capabilities, Carter expressed a deep interest in learning more about the defense review now underway in the British Ministry of Defense.

Fallon is scheduled to visit the United States in early March, and Carter said he looks forward to continuing these important discussions at that time, Kirby said.

The goal of Carter’s first official visit to Afghanistan as defense secretary is to thank the 10,000 U.S. troops who remain in Afghanistan, and to assess the situation on the ground there.

In Kabul yesterday Carter met and held a press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Earlier in the day Carter was briefed by U.S. Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, U.S. Central Command Commander Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, and Army Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinDoDNews)


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Related Sites:
Readout of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's phone call with British Minister of Defense Michael Fallon
Special Report: Travels With Ash Carter
U.S. State Department Note – United Kingdom
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