WASHINGTON: Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu made a congratulatory call to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and the two leaders discussed a range of issues, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said yesterday.
Hagel and Shoygu discussed the ongoing security transition in Afghanistan, Little said in a statement.
“Secretary Hagel assured his counterpart that the handover of security responsibilities is progressing as the capabilities of the Afghan national security forces continue to improve,” he added.
Hagel said the United States would keep Russia and all concerned apprised throughout the process, and he encouraged close bilateral cooperation on other issues, including Syria, North Korea and Iran.
“Minister Shoygu expressed his desire to reconvene missile defense discussions with the U.S. at the deputy minister level,” Little said. “Secretary Hagel agreed and reiterated that this is an important part of U.S.-Russian relations.”
Hagel assured the minister that these discussions would continue and be carried forward by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller, the press secretary noted.
“Secretary Hagel expressed his appreciation for the call, as well as his desire to continue close coordination on a range of global issues,” Little said.