Gantz meets US Defense Secretary Mark Esper
Gantz meets US Defense Secretary Mark EsperShmulik Almani

Defense Minister Benny Gantz was welcomed on Tuesday in an official ceremony at the Pentagon, after which he met with US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper.

In their meeting, Gantz expressed his appreciation to Secretary Esper and the American government for their efforts to achieve normalization and stability in the Middle East, and discussed measures for confronting Iranian aggression.

The two further discussed the importance of ensuring Israel’s military edge and the avenues to maintain it and reviewed additional regional opportunities and potential defense collaborations.

Earlier on Tuesday, Gantz met senior advisor to the US President, Jared Kushner, at the White House.

Gantz opened the meeting with remarks expressing gratitude for the exceptional efforts and achievements on the part of Kushner and the American government in advancing peace and stability in the Middle East, culminating in the Abraham Accords.

The two discussed "avenues for jointly furthering additional accords as an instrument for ensuring regional stability and protecting Israel’s security, while maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge throughout the process."

At the end of the meeting, Gantz stressed that "the historic achievements led by the American government highlight the centrality and depth of the friendship between Israel and the U.S., which is grounded in shared aspirations, values, and interests, and which is an important anchor of regional and global stability."

Gantz later met with US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. During the meeting, Gantz stressed that the Israeli defense establishment supports and appreciates the American policy of applying pressure on Iran in the international arena in close cooperation with Israel.

He briefed O’Brien on ongoing Iranian aggression and told him that Israel will continue to respond to Iranian entrenchment in Syria and in the Middle East at large, while trying to enlist other countries in the efforts as well.

Gantz meets US Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Gantz meets US Defense Secretary Mark Esper.Photo: Shmulik Almani