Iran, Syria top agenda at U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel and the United States at their periodic strategic dialogue discussed Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program and the chaos in Syria.

"Iran’s continued quest to develop nuclear weapons, which the United States and Israel are both determined to prevent, the destabilizing role which it plays in the region, and its promotion of international terrorism were addressed by the parties," said a statement issued Thursday by the State Department following the dialogue in Jerusalem.

"The two sides agreed that the ongoing bloodshed inflicted on the Syrian population by the Assad regime, assisted by Iran and Hezbollah, is a source of major humanitarian concern and the continued violence of the Syrian regime against its citizens could also lead to severe consequences for the entire region," the statement said.

Leading the teams were William Burns, the deputy U.S. secretary of state, and Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister.

The strategic dialogue takes place two or three times a year in alternating capitals.

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