Defense Secretary Hagel and Turkish Minister Davutoglu discuss regional security

Department of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday to strengthen the alliance between the two nations and work together towards regional security.

"Secretary Hagel welcomed Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to the Pentagon this morning for a meeting on the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship and support to the NATO alliance," Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog said. "This is the second time Secretary Hagel has met with Minister Davutoglu at the Pentagon. The two leaders have enjoyed a long working relationship for many years."

Hagel commended Davutoglu on Turkey's commitment to help provide humanitarian aid to the people of Syria. The leaders also discussed the challenges to eliminating chemical weapons and transitioning political leaders in Syria.

Hagel and Davutoglu discussed collaborative efforts to support and best utilize the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Hagel said the U.S. decided to continue to contribute two Patriot batteries under NATO rule for up to one additional year. Turkey declared a desire for NATO to help improve its air defenses.

"The United States is committed to maintaining regional security, and supports efforts with Turkey and other allies and partners to ensure regional stability and deterrence against common threats," Woog said. "This renewal of the Patriot deployment is and will remain defensive only and represents a concrete demonstration of alliance solidarity and resolve."

The leaders ended the meeting with positive intentions to strengthen their alliance.