Following nuclear deal with Iran, Israel resumes defense aid and cooperation talks with expected extension for 10 years; NYC Mayor and Dunford in Israel
Israel and the United States have resumed talks on defense aid and cooperation, according to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer.
Dermer announced Sunday that “discussions over a new Memorandum of Understanding”, which was previously on hold due to the nuclear deal with Iran has resumed “With the nuclear deal now moving ahead, Israel is also moving ahead, hoping to forge a common policy with the United states to address the continuing dangers posed by Iran.” Dermer stated that the meetings will “culminate in a long-term agreement that will dramatically upgrade Israel’s ability to defend itself by itself against any threat and enable Israel to address the enormous challenges we now face in the region.”
Israel and the United States are reportedly to agree on a 10-year extension to US grants to Israel that were scheduled to end in 2017. The $3 billion provided annually could reportedly rise as high as $3.7 billion.
Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, arrived in Israel Saturday to meet with Israeli security officials. The US military chief is scheduled to meet with IDF Commander and Chief Gadi Eisenkot and Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Additionally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is currently in Israel and met with victims of recent terror attacks in Israel with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Saturday after meeting with Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. De Blasio is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu later today.
The mayor stated Sunday, “The stories I’ve heard, in the midst of this pain, in the midst of this challenge, can only be described as inspiring and somehow life affirming. It’s a hard thing to imagine at this difficult moment, but what’s happening here reminds us what could be and will be one day.” De Blasio stated on violence and terror in the Jewish State, “You can’t think about acts of terrorism like this in the abstract when you meet the victims and you meet the families. It becomes very real,” he said. “There can’t be peace when civilians are wantonly attacked just for going about their business.”
On US-Israeli relations he stated that his visit serves as “an expression of the true friendship and solidarity between residents of New York and Jerusalem. I have no doubt that just as New York residents overcame terror, so can Jerusalem soon return to normalcy.”