Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Pentagon today to discuss the security challenges facing the Alliance, and to prepare for the June 14 NATO Summit.

Secretary Austin reinforced the United States’ view that NATO is the essential forum underpinning Transatlantic security and reaffirmed strong support for Secretary General Stoltenberg’s NATO 2030 initiative, which aims to keep the Alliance strong militarily, make it stronger politically, and give it a more global view.

They discussed the upcoming meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government.  The leaders also underscored that the Summit will showcase unity, strength, and determination to meet security and defense challenges into the future.  Both leaders acknowledged the progress made on military adaptation since 2014 and agreed the Alliance must remain committed to funding defense properly and equitably as deterrence and defense remains first among NATO’s core tasks.

They applauded NATO decisions and plans to respond to emerging and evolving challenges, which include cyber threats and climate change, and addressed China, Russia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Secretary General Stoltenberg said that he looked forward to seeing Secretary Austin in Brussels next week and that they would continue close consultations.

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