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U.S. military chief Dempsey calls meetings with Israeli leaders ‘very good’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. joint military chiefs of staff, called whirlwind meetings with Israeli leaders "very good" without offering any details.

“We have many interests in common in the region in this very dynamic time, and the more we can continue to engage each other, the better off we’ll all be,” Dempsey said Friday night after 24 hours of meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres and his counterpart, Benny Gantz.

The talks helped to “advance a shared understanding of the security situation in the region,” he reportedly said. 

Dempsey was expected to press Israel not to strike Iran. It was Dempsey’s first visit to Israel since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September.

Israel and the United States last week delayed their largest ever anti-missile exercise; it is believed that tensions over Iran was one of the major reasons for the delay.

Israel reportedly told Dempsey during the visit that it will give Washington 12 hours notice before launching an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

During his visit, Dempsey visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference that implemented the Nazis’ “Final Solution.”
 

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