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Panetta discusses Afghanistan with Hammond

Last Updated: Monday, May 21, 2012 - 11:25

Washington: US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has met his British counterpart Philip Hammond and discussed the importance of supporting a sustainable Afghan national security force, the Pentagon said.

"They discussed the unfolding transition in Afghanistan, the importance of supporting a sustainable Afghan National Security Force, and the need to frame an effective enduring relationship with Afghanistan beyond 2014," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

The meeting between the two leaders took place yesterday in Chicago on the sidelines of the crucial NATO Summit, where member nations are scheduled to discuss the Afghan transition and the way forward.

Panetta and Hammond, Little said, also touched on broader security challenges in Southwest Asia, as well as the P5+1 process with Iran and the on-going crisis in Syria.

"Finally, they signalled support for identifying ways to strengthen NATO capabilities," Little said.

This was one of the main topics of conversation at a dinner hosted by Panetta for his counterparts.


First Published: Monday, May 21, 2012 - 11:25

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