By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Oct. 19, 2012 – Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter met here yesterday with Iraq's prime minster and acting minister of defense to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to strengthening security and defense, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
"Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter traveled to Iraq on Oct. 18 to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and acting Minister of Defense Saadoun Dlimi,” Little said in a release issued yesterday. “This was one of many trips Dr. Carter has made to the region in an official capacity and his first trip to Iraq as Deputy Secretary.”
Little said the visit stressed the importance and commitment of the U.S. defense and security relationship with Iraq.
“Deputy Secretary Carter thanked Prime Minister Maliki and acting Defense Minister Dlimi for their continued partnership and discussed ways to broaden and strengthen U.S.-Iraq strategic cooperation given the challenges of the region,” Little said.
The deputy defense secretary, Little said, emphasized the important role that Iraq has in regional stability and noted that U.S.-Iraqi cooperation on matters of mutual strategic interest continue to be more vital than ever.
"These high-level meetings are part of a series of senior U.S. official visits to Iraq focusing on deepening relations between the two governments and the continued successful implementation of the Strategic Framework Agreement," Little said in the release.