Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, as well as for Mobility and Public Works, François Bausch, is currently on a three-day working visit to the US; on the first day, Tuesday 14 March 2023, he was in Washington DC.
There Minister Bausch, in his capacity as Minister of Defence, had a bilateral meeting in the Pentagon with Dr. Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defence for Policy of the US Department of Defence.
During their meeting, Minister Bausch and Under Secretary Kahl discussed the seriously degraded security environment as well as NATO’s important role in securing and defending the Euro-Atlantic area. In light of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Minister Bausch affirmed Luxembourg’s commitment to raise defence spending in the coming years, all while insisting that this additional spending must also be meaningful for the Grand Duchy as well as the Alliance as a whole. In this context, Minister Bausch highlighted in particular Luxembourg’s recent and future projects in the field of Space, as well as its excellent long-standing bilateral cooperation with the United States in this area. “In Space, Luxembourg, as a small nation with limited resources, is able to make a difference and contribute in a meaningful way to our common defence effort. Therefore, Luxembourg Defence focuses on developing high value-added Space capabilities that will benefit not only Luxembourg but also NATO and our Allies” declared Minister Bausch.
Both leaders also assessed the current situation in Ukraine as well as the most urgent needs of the Ukrainian armed forces. Minister Bausch thanked Under Secretary Kahl for the crucial role the United States played in response to the aggression against Ukraine, through deploying troops to NATO’s Eastern flank and the massive US support to Ukraine. Both agreed that continuous support is crucial in order for Ukraine to be able to defend itself against the Russian aggressor. Minister Bausch declared that Luxembourg’s commitment to support Ukraine for as long as necessary is unwavering.
At the Pentagon, Minister Bausch also had a meeting with Brendan Owens, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Energy, Installations and Environment. The discussion with Assistant Secretary Owens focused on the security implications of global environmental change, the need to adapt military capabilities and the armed forces accordingly, assessing and reducing the carbon footprint of the defence sector all while maintaining or increasing operational effectiveness, renewable sources of energy as well as alternative propulsion technologies.
After the visit to the Pentagon, Minister Bausch paid a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery in order to lay a wreath at the Battle of The Bulge Memorial, in honour of the veterans who fought for Europe and Luxembourg’s freedom during World War II.