American Forces Press Service reports Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Israeli Defense Minister Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon this morning to offer his deepest condolences on the death of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
“Secretary Hagel praised Prime Minister Sharon as a leader who dedicated his life to defending Israel's security,” Kirby said in a statement summarizing the call. “The Secretary shared with Minister Ya'alon that he greatly admired the former prime minister and appreciated the strong relationship that they had formed during the Secretary's time in the Senate,” says AFPS.
The two defense leaders reaffirmed the strength of the U.S-Israeli defense relationship, Kirby added. AFPS notes Hagel pledged to continue to work closely together on the shared challenges that the United States and Israel face.