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April 16, 2017 1:32 pm

Defense Secretary James Mattis to Visit Israel During Week-Long Middle East Trip Meant to ‘Reaffirm Key US Military Alliances’

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US Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Photo: Screenshot.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis will stop in Israel this coming Friday during a week-long trip to the Middle East.

During his visit — Mattis’ first to the Jewish state since taking over at the Pentagon in January — the retired Marine general will hold meetings with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, according to a US Department of Defense statement.

Mattis has already met with Lieberman twice — first on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in mid-February and several weeks later at the Pentagon.

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While in Israel on Friday, Mattis will also take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

Other destinations on Mattis’ itinerary for his trip — his fourth abroad since becoming defense secretary — include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and Djibouti.

The purpose of the trip, according to the Department of Defense — is to “reaffirm key US military alliances, engage with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa, and discuss cooperative efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations.”

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  • Abelardy

    The PA/Israel dispute is an excuse, not a cause of Arab hostility. Mattis is wrong to say that Israel prevents Arab countries from cooperating with the US. The Arabs use Jew hatred to distract their people from the failures of their own government.

  • Hopefully, Sec. Mattis visits the strategic Golan Heights, Northern and Southern Israel, and realizes Israel cannot trade land for peace, nor negotiate with the PLO terrorist entity.

  • watsa46

    Will Mattis reevaluate his stand on Israel?

  • Reb_Yaakov

    “first to the Jewish state”
    Which state are we talking about here?

    “will also take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem”
    Was the wreath left over from Christmas?

    Since he considers Tel Aviv to be the capital of Israel, will he be having his meetings there?

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