IDF chief arrives in U.S. for meetings on security, military cooperation

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot arrived in the United States to meet with his U.S. counterpart.

Eizenkot traveled to the U.S. on Sunday for an “official work visit” with U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, the IDF said in a statement.

Eizenkot also is scheduled to meet with other senior U.S. military officials in the series of work meetings in Utah, Florida and Washington, according to the IDF.  “Current security challenges, the regional security assessments in the Middle East and military cooperation,” are among the topics that will be under discussion.

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

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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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