Daily Israel Report

Israeli and USA Army Chiefs Meet in Jerusalem

IDF Chief of Staff, US Joint Chief of Staff meet in Jerusalem, emphasize strength of relationship despite political differences.
By Yoni Kempinski, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 4/1/2014, 1:13 AM

Top-ranking Israeli and American defense officials met in Jerusalem to discuss regional security Monday, and held a press conference discussing the talks' goals. 

"We see very extreme organizations and radical elements fighting in this area, especially in the Northern arena," IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz stated.

"I believe that the dialogue that we are going to have is very important," Gantz stated, addressing Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. "I believe that we can definitely cope with all those challenges." 

"I believe that the operations between the two military organizations is a very important one, a very professional one, a very open one and candid one, and [can be], eventually, a very fruitful one." 

General Dempsey noted that the meetings between the two military chiefs strengthen the US-Israel relationship. 

"We get consumed often by the crisis of the day, but about every three or four times we meet, we encourage each other to look a little further in the future - and this is one of those times," the General stated. "We're very excited about the chance to have that conversation with General Gantz and his team about our common future, our common interest, [our] common security of our two peoples, and to reassure each other on the strength, the depth, and the endurance of our relationship." 

The highly publicized visit has been deemed as critical for the US-Israel relationship, after the US is still reportedly offended over critical remarks made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. 

Analysts, however, have noted that the defense cooperation between Israel and the US has remained strong despite the political brouhaha, and that the atmosphere so far has remained friendly and relaxed