13 Nov 2017

Defence Secretary hosts first meeting in UK with US counterpart

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has held his first bilateral meeting with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

The first bilateral meeting between the two held in London focussed on three themes: current threats, capability and shared prosperity.

The meeting follows NATO and counter-Daesh Ministerial conferences held in Brussels, where the alliance agreed to adapt its command structure to better reflect the security environment through the establishment of two new headquarters: an Atlantic Command and a Logistics Command.

The UK and US are amongst only six NATO countries meeting the commitment to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence and are investing heavily in next generation technology, including the F-35 aircraft.

US F-35s are set to fly from the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier in 2021 as a demonstration of the close relationship between the two countries.

The defence trading relationship between the UK and US is worth £3 billion a year and as the UK looks beyond Brexit, both countries hope to strengthen that aspect of the countries’ relationship.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “From fighting in the trenches of the Great War to countering Russian aggression and tackling Daesh today, the UK has been America’s closest partner for a century. Today our countries are cooperating on everything from operations and intelligence to innovation and this meeting is an opportunity to continue strengthening our special relationship.”

image © Crown Copyright

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