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WASHINGTON, March 24, 2017 — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Spanish Minister of Defense Maria Delores de Cospedal met at the Pentagon yesterday, where the two leaders discussed the enduring U.S.-Spain security relationship, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis greets Spanish Minister of Defense Maria Delores de Cospedal before a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., March 23, 2017. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis greets Spanish Minister of Defense Maria Delores de Cospedal before a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., March 23, 2017. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

During the meeting, Mattis recognized Spain‘s important contributions to global security, specifically in combating terrorism in North Africa, the Sahel and in the counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria campaign, Davis said.

NATO Commitment

The two leaders also discussed their commitment to NATO, the strong bonds such an alliance creates, and the need for all member nations to reach the two percent of gross domestic product defense spending benchmark, he added.

Mattis also thanked the minister for the Spanish people’s hospitality to U.S. defense personnel and ships hosted at Naval Station Rota and Morón Air Base, Davis said.

The two leaders, he said, look forward to continued future engagements and further strengthening of bilateral defense relations.

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