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Russian, US defence secretaries discuss Afghan transition

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 09:09

Washington: The Russian Defence Minister, Sergey Shoygu, has called up his American counterpart Chuck Hagel during which the two leaders discussed the Afghan transition and several other issues, including the situation in Syria, Iran and North Korea, the Pentagon said.

"Hagel and Shoygu discussed the ongoing security transition in Afghanistan," the Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little, said in a statement after the phone call yesterday.

During the conversation, Hagel assured his Russian counterpart that the handover of security responsibilities is progressing as the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces continue to improve.

Hagel also said that the US would keep Russia and all concerned apprised throughout the process, Little said.

"Further, Hagel encouraged close bi-lateral cooperation on a variety of other issues of mutual concern, including on Syria, North Korea, and Iran," he said.
Shoygu, during the phone call, expressed his desire to reconvene missile defence discussions with the United States at the deputy minister level.

"Hagel agreed and maintained that this is an important part of US-Russian relations. He assured Shoygu that these discussions would continue and be carried forward by Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Dr Jim Miller," Little said.


First Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 09:08

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