Mark Esper
Mark EsperReuters

Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz held his first discussion Thursday evening with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

At the beginning of the conversation, Secretary Esper congratulated Minister Gantz for the leadership he displayed in the formation of the new unity government in Israel.

The two discussed their countries' efforts to combat the coronavirus as well as the need to discourage rivalries between nations and to foster international cooperation to fight the pandemic. They also discussed the common interests the US and Israel share in regional security, including the need to combat the Iranian threat.

Gantz emphasized the strong and strategic security relationship between the two nations, pledged to strengthen the security partnership between Israel and the United States, and commended the military ties they share.

The two agreed to meet in person at the earliest available opportunity.