Hospitalised Pentagon chief Austin cancels trip to Brussels for NATO, Ukraine meetings

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin cancelled a trip to Brussels for NATO defence talks after being admitted to a military hospital for a second time this year, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Austin, 70, was admitted to the Walter Reed Military Medical Center on Sunday for "symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue".

On Monday, he underwent nonsurgical procedures under general anesthesia to address his bladder issue, the hospital said.

"Secretary Austin will no longer travel to Brussels this week as originally scheduled," Air Force Major General Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, told a news briefing on Monday.

Austin had failed to disclose a prostate cancer surgery in December and a subsequent hospitalisation in January to deal with its complications, triggering a political uproar and multiple investigations.

The Pentagon has not said whether Austin's bladder issue was another complication from that prostate surgery, but the hospital appeared to be upbeat about his cancer prognosis.

The Pentagon said the meeting on Ukraine's defense needs, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG), would be held virtually.

"While Secretary Austin currently intends to participate in the virtual UDCG, he will remain flexible depending on his healthcare status," Ryder said.

Austin to resume duties Tuesday, say doctors

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