Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other NATO defense ministers plan to take up the issue of training Libyan security forces as that country battles insurgents flowing into the south from Mali.

Senior U.S. defense officials said Monday that the discussions are in the early stages, and come on the heels of requests from Libyan leaders for help from NATO, the U.S. and other nations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue ahead of the meeting.

Hagel and the other defense ministers will also discuss the ongoing transition in Afghanistan. The U.S. and NATO are preparing to withdraw combat troops from that nation at the end of 2014.

Hagel arrived in Brussels on Monday.