Hagel emphasizes P5+1 support during visit to Qatar

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel emphasized U.S. commitment on Tuesday to supporting the joint plan of action with the P5+1 to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Hagel made the remarks during a meeting with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, on Tuesday as the final stop of his five-country visit of the region. During the meeting, Hagel and Tamim discussed regional security issues, including Iran and Syria.

"On Iran, Secretary Hagel emphasized the United States' commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and support for the joint plan of action with the P5+1," Carl Woog, the DoD's assistant press secretary, said. "Secretary Hagel underscored the importance of Iran fulfilling its P5+1 international obligations, and the U.S. commitment to its posture in the region in support of its allies and partners."

On Syria, Hagel and Tamim agreed to work together to help achieve the goals of a political solution in Syria. Hagel reiterated U.S. support of the Geneva II conference and reaffirmed that Bashar al-Assad must go. He also expressed U.S. commitment to the moderate opposition and the importance of addressing the impact of the Syrian conflict on nearby countries.

During his visit, Hagel also signed a defense cooperation agreement with Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah, Qatar's minister of state for defense affairs.