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Attributed to Acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met Italy’s Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini today at the Pentagon to reaffirm the close cooperation between our countries in coalition operations, basing, and collective defense, particularly during these challenging times that have proven the importance of the transatlantic relationship.  Both leaders also discussed defense industrial cooperation.

Secretary Austin thanked Minister Guerini for Italy’s leadership and its expansive contributions to international security.  The Secretary noted Italy’s contributions in the various missions where Italian forces are deployed, including in Kosovo, Libya, Romania, Niger, Djibouti, Lebanon, and several other locations in Europe and Africa. The Secretary specifically thanked Minister Guerini for Italy’s leadership in bolstering the Eastern Flank and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion.

Secretary Austin and Minister Guerini also discussed the important issues affecting both the Mediterranean region and Africa.  The leaders exchanged views on how the United States and Italy could increase defense cooperation activities in Africa.

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