Hagel, meeting with Yaalon, reaffirms U.S. commitment to Israeli security


(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reaffirmed the “deep commitment” of the United States to Israel’s security at a meeting with his Israeli counterpart.

Hagel in his meeting Tuesday with Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon at the Pentagon in Washington also noted the importance of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship.

The defense chiefs discussed the coalition efforts to counter ISIS, Iran and other regional issues. They also agreed to continue to work together to maintain the strength of the U.S.-Israel security relationship, according to a Pentagon statement.

Israel and the United States have disagreed on what could be the terms of a nuclear agreement between the world powers and Iran. Israel wants all of Iran’s centrifuges to be dismantled, while the United States is willing to consider leaving a limited civilian nuclear program in place with strict international monitoring.

“We must not forget that the United States is really the State of Israel’s most important strategic ally,” Yaalon said in Washington following the meeting, according to the Times of Israel. “In every aspect they are the leading power in the world, whether it is economically or militarily or diplomatically, and it is good that we have the opportunity to share our opinions.”

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