Israeli military chief in US for meetings on security, military cooperation


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli army’s chief of staff is in the United States to meet with his U.S. counterpart about Middle East security challenges and other matters.

Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot arrived in the United States on Sunday for an “official work visit” with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Eizenkot also is scheduled to meet with other senior U.S. military officials in Utah, Florida and Washington, D.C., according to the IDF, on “security challenges, the regional security assessments in the Middle East and military cooperation,” among other topics.

Eizenkot is scheduled to see the  F-35 fighter plane being built for Israel in the United States and the U.S. Special Forces’ base in Florida, and place a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. He will be be received with an honor guard at the Pentagon.

Last week, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the acting head of Israel’s National Security Council, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Jacob Nagel, would travel to Washington on Sunday for meetings with his U.S. counterparts in order to work toward the signing of a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance with the United States.

The current memorandum, which expires at the end of 2017, guarantees Israel $3 billion annually in assistance. The new agreement is widely expected to be larger, though most of the aid can only be spent in the United States.

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