Pentagon chief Austin hospitalized, will not go to Brussels for Ukraine, NATO meeting

Last updated: February 13, 2024, 00:00 IST

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has canceled a trip to Brussels to meet with NATO ministers and work on military aid to Ukraine because he remains hospitalized while dealing with complications from prostate cancer, two defense officials said Monday.

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has canceled a trip to Brussels to meet with NATO ministers and work on military aid to Ukraine because he is hospitalized while dealing with complications from prostate cancer, two defense officials said on Monday. Said.

Austin was scheduled to travel to Brussels on Tuesday to attend a regular meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a gathering of about 50 countries to coordinate military aid to Kiev. That meeting will now be held virtually, officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not yet been made public.

Austin, 70, was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Sunday afternoon to be treated for bladder problems. After further tests he was admitted to the critical care unit for supportive care and close monitoring and officials have since been transferred to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks.

After the Ukraine meeting he was also scheduled to attend a regular meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels. It was not immediately clear whether Hicks would attend that meeting.

This is Austin’s second hospitalization due to complications following surgery in December to treat prostate cancer.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – The Associated Press)