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Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Meets Hagel – Iran on Agenda

Iranian nukes are "a challenge that Israel cannot accept," says Netanyahu.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/23/2013, 12:12 PM

Hagel, Netanyahu
Hagel, Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem Tuesday morning.

Before the start of the meeting, Netanyahu said, "Israel appreciates deeply, the support – the military and security support – that it enjoys from the United States. It reflects a very deep alliance between our two countries and the defense of our common interests and our common values.

"Nowhere are these values and interests challenged more than by the arming of terrorist groups by Iran with sophisticated weapons, and equally, Iran’s attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons," Netanyahu added. "This is a challenge that Israel cannot accept, and as you and President Obama have repeatedly said, Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat."

Hagel responded, saying, "I'm committed to continue to strengthen this relationship, secure this relationship, and as you know, one of the main reasons I'm here is to do that.

"I've had very good conversations the last two days with your defense minister. I had a good conversation with President Peres yesterday. I was able to take a long tour up in the north and the eastern borders here, and once again it reminds me of the dangers and difficulties and challenges. But I believe together, working with our allies and our friends, we will be able to do what is right for your country, my country, and make this region a better region and a more secure region, and make Israel more secure."

Details of the two men's discussion are not known. However, the facial expressions and body language of Netanyahu and Yaalon beside Hagel Monday and Tuesday appeared very relaxed.