Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist at the Pentagon today. Mattis emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Sweden bilateral relationship, and his desire for greater defense cooperation in the future, as laid out in the Statement of Intent signed last year.

Mattis also expressed his condolences for the April 7 terrorist attack in Stockholm. Mattis and Hultqvist expressed a desire to continue strengthening our bilateral relationship through strategic dialogue and practical cooperation such as U.S. participation in Sweden’s Aurora 17 exercise this September. The two leaders also discussed Sweden’s deepening relationship with NATO, which increases stability in the Nordic-Baltic region and sends a strong signal of deterrence.