Israel’s top general visits U.S.


The chief of Israel’s armed forces is visiting the United States.

Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi flew out late Saturday for his first working visit to Washington D.C.

During his week-long stay, Ashkenazi will meet his American counterpart, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, and visit the headquarters of the various branches of the U.S. armed forces. He will also hold talks with Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Ashkenazi’s visit comes at a time of heightened international speculation that Israel and the United States are closing ranks ahead of a possible military attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.

But Israeli military officials said the visit had been long in the works and was previously postponed.

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