Israeli military chief at NATO summit

Israel’s top general is attending a NATO summit.

Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, commander of Israel’s armed forces, flew to Brussels Tuesday for a two-day convention of international military chiefs at NATO headquarters.

Israel has only a limited partnership with NATO under a “Mediterranean Dialogue” program initiated in 1994. But the looming threat of a nuclear-armed Iran has raised calls in Israel for a fuller defense pact with the Western-oriented alliance.

Israeli defense officials are playing down expectations of an upgrade in ties anytime soon, noting that NATO member nations must generally give up their military autonomy – something that would be anathema to Jerusalem.

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