Dunford meets with IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister

Meetings focused on improving ties between US-Israel’s militaries; VP Biden to arrive in Israel next week

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United States Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford arrived in Israel on Thursday, meeting with the IDF’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

His visit comes following the joint IDF and United States European Command “Juniper Cobra 16” military exercise held in Israel through last week and ahead of US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the region this coming week.

The “Juniper Cobra 16” focused on improving coordination and cooperation between US EUCOM and the IDF. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the exercises “provides an opportunity for both militaries for joint learning and training” and is an additional step “in strategic relations between Israel and the U.S., and it will greatly contribute to regional stability.”

Dunford’s visit was centered on talks for increasing ties between the IDF and U.S. military, as well as addressing Israel’s request and lobbying efforts to increase the United States military aid package to Israel starting next year.

U.S. European Command Head, Gen. Philip Breedlove was also present in the meeting between Dunford and Ya’alon.

Ya’alon stated following their meeting “Your visit here, which includes visiting the joint Juniper Cobra exercise, is another example of the extent of the relationship and cooperation between [the U.S and Israeli] militaries, intelligence systems, and defense establishments. We greatly value our relationship and see the U.S. as our great ally. Many challenges lie ahead, and we must face them together.”

A statement released on Dunford’s visit reads, “The visit reinforces the strong and enduring US-Israel defense relationship, and continues our unparalleled military cooperation with Israel.”