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May 9, 2017 10:57 am

US Military Leader Dunford Visits Israel for High-Level Security Talks

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U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Twitter. – Ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel, US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford landed in the Jewish state on Monday as a guest of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

Dunford’s visit to Israel was his first since Trump took office in January. In addition to Eizenkot, Dunford met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Although the US-Israel meetings were planned in advance, both sides maintained secrecy before their occurrence, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

“We have a great alliance between Israel and the United States, and a great alliance between the American military and the IDF,” Netanyahu told Dunford. “We appreciate it and we know that this alliance is good, not only for security but also good for peace.”

The primary topics of discussion between military chiefs Dunford and Eizenkot reportedly included Russia’s military presence in Syria, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal, the transfer of advanced weapons to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and Islamic State’s terror operations in Egypt.

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Dunford called his “personal relationship” with Eizenkot “rock-solid and probably representative of the broader relationship that we have.” The American military leader received an official commendation from Eizenkot during an honor guard ceremony Tuesday at the Kirya IDF headquarters.

In August 2016, Eizenkot met with Dunford in the US, where the IDF leader was awarded the Legion of Merit for “exceptionally meritorious service” during a ceremony at the Pentagon.

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