President Shimon Peres conducted a working meeting with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey on Monday, in which both Peres and Dempsey agreed that the good relations between Israel and the U.S. would discourage Israel's enemies from attacking.
The two discussed a variety of topics, including the Iranian nuclear threat, the strengthening of strategic relations between the two countries and developments in the region. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz also took part in the meeting. At the meeting, Dempsey said that he was “very satisfied” with the results of the major military exercise between Israel and the U.S. that took place in recent weeks.
Peres welcomed Dempsey to Israel, saying that he wanted "to thank you for the profound cooperation between the American armed forces and our own. The cooperation is at the highest level and is at its best. The absolute friendship is an important strength to deter danger and to face our enemies." Peres added a personal thanks to Dempsey and spoke of the high respect with which he is held in Israel, "I know we're having a joint exercise at the moment which is important. I want to thank you for coming and for your personal commitment to Israel's security."
Peres addressed the developments in the Middle East and said, "There are great dangers but some promises too and we have to distinguish between them. We must never forget there are chances, never ignore the dangers. On the Iranian threat Peres said, "The sanctions are beginning to show some results. I think all of us agree that we should start with the non-military options while keeping all options on the table. If we can conclude it in a diplomatic way, then it's much better. "
Dempsey thanked Peres and said, "I think it is our commitment to remaining strong military together that provides the foundation for the other instrument of power to be applied. This exercise we're conducting is the largest one ever. It's a real opportunity for our soldiers to work with Israeli soldiers, our airmen to work with Israeli pilots and our sailors to work with Israeli sailors. This exercise covers all of those domains to ensure that we have a layered cooperative, collaborative, common defense against the threats of missiles and rockets." General Dempsey concluded his remarks and said, "We are honored to be here with you and we want to reinforce the commitment you mentioned (to Israel's security) because we must go forward together."