16:37 GMT06 August 2020
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    US Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed with his Italian and French counterparts the fight against Daesh and ways to address threats from the Middle East and North Africa, the US Department of Defense said in a release on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Two separate meeting with French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian and Italian Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti took place on the margins of the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

    "Secretary Mattis… noted his desire to consult closely with Italy on security issues of mutual concern, in particular threats emanating from the Middle East and North Africa. Both he and the minister [Pinotti] pledged to work closely in the coming months," the release stated.

    The Defense Department noted that Mattis and Le Drian also discussed a range of other mutual security issues, including counter-terrorism operations in the Levant and Africa.

    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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