US, Israel Finalize Talks Over 10-Year Military Package
JNS.org – The United States and Israel finalized intensive talks overnight on Wednesday in Washington D.C., hoping to reach a new 10-year military aid agreement for Israel.
However, no specific timetable on when negotiations will be concluded was announced.
“We’ve made progress and closed many of the remaining gaps. We hope soon to be able to reach final agreement,” a US senior official told Reuters following the talks. A senior Israeli official made a similar statement.
The head of Israel’s national security council, Jacob Nagel, led the Israeli delegation which also included commander of the Israel Defense Forces Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, senior treasury officials and Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
The U.S. delegation was headed by National Security Adviser Susan Rice with Israeli adviser at the White House, Yael Lampert, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and senior officials from the departments of defense, state and treasury.
The new plan is expected to replace the $30 billion package with anywhere between $35 to $39 billion, including additional aid for Israel’s missile defense.
However, both Israel and the US have disagreed over various aspects of the proposed deal, including using 26.3 percent of the aid on Israel’s military products rather than American, which may be one of the “gaps” that needed to be closed or resolved.