U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman in Israel to talk Iran, Syria


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, visited Israel in his first official overseas visit since assuming the position earlier this month.

Dunford landed in Israel on Saturday night and was welcomed Sunday with an honor guard at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv.

On Sunday, he was scheduled to meet with his IDF counterpart, Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, as well as Russia and Syria.

“The trip has been planned for months,” Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, the chairman’s special assistant for public affairs, told the U.S. Department of Defense News. “The purpose is to meet his counterpart for the first time and reaffirm the strong ties between our militaries and our two countries.”

Dunford will stress America’s continuing strong support for Israel, according to Hicks.

“He will reaffirm America’s commitment to Israel’s security and then get a view from them of what security conditions are like here,” Hicks said.

Also Sunday, Dunford is scheduled to meet with the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro.

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