Hagel, Georgian Defense Minister Discuss Afghanistan, Ukraine

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) escorts Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania through an honor cordon upon Alasania’s arrival at the Pentagon on May 7.

At their meeting in the Pentagon, Hagel thanked Alasania for his nation’s contributions to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan.

Hagel also encouraged Alasania to continue the progress Georgia has made on defense reform and NATO interoperability, Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement summarizing the Pentagon meeting.

“The two leaders also discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” Kirby said. “They reviewed the efforts by allies and partners in the region to reinforce our international commitments and to continue to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Moscow.”

Hagel reaffirmed the importance of the U.S. partnership with Georgia, Kirby added, and pledged to continue the strong defense cooperation between their two nations.

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