Hagel Assures “Israel”: Committed to Your Security
US War Secretary Chuck Hagel met with his “Israeli” counterpart Ehud Barak Tuesday at the Pentagon, the Pentagon Press Secretary reported.
Hagel’s meeting with Barak marked Hagel’s first meeting with a foreign counterpart since taking office. Upon meeting, Hagel saluted Barak.
According to the Pentagon, “Secretary Hagel expressed his strong commitment to “Israel’s” security, including maintaining “Israel’s” qualitative military edge and continued US support for missile and rocket war systems in spite of fiscal constraints.”
Hagel and Barak agreed that “the United States-“Israeli” military relationship has never been stronger than during the Obama administration and that both sides will continue this unprecedented close cooperation.”
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little added that both men “discussed the range of security interests shared by the US and “Israel”, including the need for the Syrian regime to maintain control over chemical and biological weapons in their country.”
The Pentagon statement also stressed that, in regards to the war in Syria, “they pledged to continue US-“Israel” contingency planning to counter that ‘potential threat’.”
On Iran, Hagel assured his “Israeli” ally that “Obama is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon with all options on the table.”
He stated that “the United States continues to believe there is still time to address this issue through diplomacy, but that window is closing.”
Hagel noted that he and Barak “have had an outstanding working relationship, dating back to Minister Barak’s days as prime minister.”
Moreover, the US top official said he wanted to visit the Zionist entity soon, and Barak stressed that “Israel” was looking forward to Hagel’s visit.
Barak’s current visit to the US will likely be his last as a war minister. It came after Obama last week signed into effect the spending cuts, known as the sequester, which will shave $ 85 billion off the US federal budget in 2013. About half of the cuts will affect the US military sector.
“Israel” receives more than $ 3 billion from Washington in direct foreign assistance every year. It also gets $ 70 million more in military aid for its missile systems.
Source: News agencies, Edited by moqawama.org