Top US general in Israel despite recent tensions

Top US general in Israel despite recent tensions
Mon Mar 31, 2014 09:28:04

The top US military commander has arrived in Israel for talks on “strategic cooperation” despite offensive remarks by the regime’s military chief that questioned American foreign policy and Washington’s commitment to Tel Aviv.

Chairman of US Chiefs of Staff Army General Martin Dempsey arrived in Israel on Sunday for a three-day visit and is scheduled to meet with Tel Aviv’s military affairs minister Moshe Yaalon and other top Israeli officials in al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Yaalon provoked Washington’s anger earlier this month when he accused US Secretary of State John Kerry of being unrealistic and naive in trying to broker an Israeli-Palestinian “peace deal” and further questioned the American commitment to the Tel Aviv regime.

In brief remarks after the arrival of Dempsey in al-Quds, however, Yaalon claimed the US was "truly our best friend" and added that US relations were central to the security of the Israeli regime.

No official details have been reported about the agenda of Dempsey’s visit but according to Israeli press reports, Ya’alon and Dempsey were expected to discuss various regional issues, including the Syrian crisis, Iran’s nuclear program, and their so-called “war on terror.”

“The focus of the chairman’s discussions with his counterparts will be on issues of mutual strategic interest, while continuing to build on this important defense relationship,” said Dempsey’s spokesman Air Force Col. Ed Thomas.

Thomas further added, “These military-to-military meetings demonstrate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the meetings come amid much change and turmoil in the region.”

Meanwhile, despite massive budget deficits in the US, American lawmakers reassured the Israeli regime last week that military aid to Tel Aviv will not wane after the current package of huge US military and economic grants to Israel expires in 2017.

In 2007, the administration of former president George W. Bush signed an agreement with the Israeli regime, granting it $30 billion over a decade.


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