U.S. defense secretary to visit Israel, Germany, NATO headquarters, UK

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a joint statement with India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (not pictured) following their meeting in New Delhi, India, March 20, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Israel, Germany, NATO headquarters in Belgium and Britain starting on Saturday, the Pentagon said in a statement.

“Secretary Austin will meet with his counterparts and other senior officials to discuss the importance of international defense relationships, and reinforce the United States’ commitment to deterrence and defense, burden sharing, and enduring trans-Atlantic security,” said the statement released on Thursday.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Mohammad Zargham