Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz David Cohen/Flash90

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) spoke Tuesday morning with US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, who congratulated him on his continued term as Defense Minister within Israel’s new government.

In a statement, Israel's Defense Ministry said that "the two continued the discussion begun in Washington concerning the imperative to strengthen and fortify Israel’s security vis-v-vis external challenges."

"They further discussed the continued need to halt Iranian nuclear plans as well as the current opportunities to advance regional peace and expand normalization agreements.

"Gantz thanked the Defense Secretary for his and the administration’s support of Israel and its security needs, and stated that he will work to empower the Palestinian Authority and the moderate forces in the region."

On Sunday night, a statement from Austin's office said: "Secretary Austin looks forward to continuing the important cooperation and dialogue with Minister Gantz to deepen the US-Israel strategic partnership. The US commitment to Israel's security remains ironclad."

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