Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan R. Hoffman provided the following readout:
Acting Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper met yesterday with German Minister of Defense Ursula Von der Leyen on the margins of the NATO Defense Ministerial.
The leaders discussed defense spending and the NATO Readiness Initiative in advance of the NATO Defense Ministerial session. The United States seeks continued increased burden sharing, and continues to urge Allies like Germany to develop national plans to reach the 2% defense spending goal. The secretary reiterated Germany’s role as a leader in NATO and the corresponding need for them to reach these goals. The two also discussed China and securing transatlantic telecommunications systems, as well as overall NATO-EU cooperation, which is a long-standing goal often discussed at NATO Defense Ministerials.