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December 1, 2021 4:21 pm
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Israel Military Officials Meet With US CENTCOM Generals in Florida

avatar by i24 News and Algemeiner Staff

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi meets with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie at CENTCOM headquarters on June 22, 2021. Photo: CENTCOM Public Affairs / Tom Gagnier

i24 NewsTop Israeli military generals visited the United States Central Command headquarters in Florida as Iran nuclear talks continue in Vienna.

The delegation included the head of military operations, Maj. Gen. Oded Basyuk, and the head of the Iran-focused strategy and third-ring directorate, Maj. Gen. Tal Kelman. Israel’s defense attaché in the US, Maj. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, and the head of the military’s international relations division, Brig. Gen. Effie Defrin, also joined.

“During the meeting, the commanders discussed regional operational cooperation, discussed the common challenges of the two armies and deepened their operational readiness and strategic dialogue,” Israel’s military said in a statement.

They met with CENTCOM’s director of operations, Maj. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, as well as Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy Maj. Gen. Scott Benedict, and Deputy Commander Vice Adm. James Malloy.

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Later this week, Basyuk and Kelman will hold additional working meetings with senior American security officials.

The US Defense Department officially moved Israel, which has for years been under the purview of its European Command (EUCOM), to CENTCOM in September, following an earlier directive by the Trump Administration. While CENTCOM’s area of command has traditionally included the Middle East, Israel was previously kept in EUCOM to stave off potential tensions between the US military and Arab and Muslim partners.

The realignment “strengthens the strategic US-Israeli defense relationship and offers opportunities to deepen operational collaboration between the Israel Defense Forces and CENTCOM’s many partners in the region,” CENTCOM said in September.

The move, implemented in the wake of increased Arab-Israeli ties following the Abraham Accords, is believed to help simplify cooperation with American troops in the region.

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