Israeli MoD visits US for talks on Iran, terror

Benny Ganz met with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Israeli MoD visits US for talks on Iran, terror

Photo: ©MOD/Shmulik Almany

Israel’s Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, embarked on an official visit to the US on Thursday (May 19th), where he met with his counterpart, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and other dignitaries. The security officials discussed security challenges of mutual interest for both countries are facing as well as ways to move forward.

Topping the list was Iran. Gantz discussed Iran’s progression in its nuclear program alongside its destabilizing regional activities, and emphasized the need to work closely and prepare for any future scenario.

Gantz emphasized the historic changes in the region alongside the mounting threat posed by Iran’s aggression and support for terrorism. In light of the changing regional architecture, he stressed a critical need for a practical coalition under US leadership, together with regional partners, in facing Iran.

Another topic in discussion was the recent wave of terror in Israel, which has already claimed 20 lives. Ganz and the US officials discussed Israel’s ongoing operational activities in face of incitement and terror, with the former emphasizing that Israel will take the measures necessary to defend its citizens and sovereignty.

Ganz also added that Israel’s defense establishment is continuining its policy of promoting confidence-building measures vis-a-vis Palestinian civilians that are not involved with terror activity.

The current situation in Ukraine was also reviewed, with Ganz emphasizing Israel’s support for Ukraine, including the provision of humanitarian aid and non-offensive equipment, as well as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s efforts to facilitate communication between the parties. He noted that these actions are taken while maintaining a policy in line with operational considerations, while ensuring regional stability.

In March, the US approved a $4.8 billion security package for Israel. Ganz thanked Austin for his support, and stressed the importance of continuing support for Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME).

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