18:06 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Retired Marine Corps general James Mattis testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be the next secretary of defense in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on January 12, 2017

    Pentagon Chief Mattis Bracing for 'Special' Relations With UK

    © AFP 2019 / Mandel NGAN
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    US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis expressed his intention to maintain a close relationship with the United Kingdom and stressed its importance for US security during his bilateral meeting with his UK counterpart, Pentagon spokesperson Sarah Higgins said in a press statement.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The two defense chiefs held a bilateral meeting on the margins of the NATO defense ministerial in Brussels, Belgium.

    "Secretary Mattis noted his intent to keep the special relationship between the US and the UK uniquely close by actively tending to it and showing it remains a cornerstone for US security and defense policy," release said on Wednesday.

    Mattis and UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon discussed the opportunities to adapt NATO to growing threats. Both secretaries pledged to continue their dialogue on issues of mutual importance.

    Mattis also thanked Fallon for UK's leadership in NATO and acknowledged Britain’s increased defense spending.

    On Tuesday, Mattis arrived in Europe for the first time since taking office to attend a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

    Mattis will then fly on to Germany to attend the annual Munich Security Conference from February 17 to February 19 where he will hold meetings with defense ministers with other major nations from around the world.

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    ties, James Mattis, Michael Fallon, United States, United Kingdom
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