Mattis Reaffirms ‘Unbreakable’ Bond, Enduring Commitment to Europe

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis reaffirmed the “unbreakable trans-Atlantic bond” between the United States and Europe and underscored the enduring U.S. commitment to peace and prosperity on the continent during the U.S.-Adriatic Charter defense minister’s meeting yesterday in Zagreb, Croatia.

“I’m here today to reinforce America’s commitment to the security and stability of southeast Europe,” Mattis said.

Established in 2003, the U.S.-Adriatic Charter began with the United States, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia as founding members. It expanded to include Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro as members; Kosovo, Serbia and Slovenia are observers.

Mattis said many of those militaries “stand alongside each other shoulder to shoulder” to support critical missions across the globe. Those missions, he said, include NATO‘s regional support; the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan; operations in Kosovo; the enhanced forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland; and the coalition effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The United States maintains strong state partnership programs with the U.S.-Adriatic Charter members and observers, he added.

Mattis reiterated U.S. support for each nation’s ability to choose its own path on the regional and global stage, whether NATO, the…

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