Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 25, 2013. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:
“Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu called Secretary Hagel today to congratulate him on his recent appointment as secretary of defense. During the call, the two defense leaders also took the opportunity to discuss a variety of issues of mutual concern.
“Secretary Hagel and Minister Shoygu discussed the ongoing security transition in Afghanistan. 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 also said that the U.S. would keep Russia and all concerned apprised throughout the process. Further, Secretary Hagel encouraged close bi-lateral cooperation on a variety of other issues of mutual concern, including on Syria, North Korea, and Iran.
“Minister Shoygu expressed his desire to reconvene missile defense discussions with the U.S. at the deputy minister level. Secretary Hagel agreed and reiterated that this is an important part of U.S.-Russian relations. He assured Minister Shoygu that these discussions would continue and be carried forward by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Jim Miller.
“Secretary Hagel expressed his appreciation for the call, as well as his desire to continue close coordination on a range of global issues.”