Hagel, meeting with Yaalon, reaffirms U.S.-Israel defense relationship

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reaffirmed the United States’ “deep commitment” to Israel’s  security,  and the importance of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship during a meeting with his Israeli counterpart.

Hagel and Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon met Tuesday at the Pentagon.

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Hagel and Yaalon 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 statement issued by Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.

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. 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,” Yaalon said in Washington following the meeting, according to the Times of Israel.