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US defence chief in Israel for talks on Iran, Syria

AFP  |  Tel Aviv 

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis visited today for talks expected to focus on Iran, Syria and the two countries' close strategic relations despite recent tensions with Barack Obama's adminstration.

Mattis held talks with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday morning, to be followed by meetings with Prime Minister and President Reuven Rivlin.



and the United States have long had close strategic ties, with providing more than $3 billion per year in defence aid and President Donald Trump pledging unstinting support for the country.

Despite tensions over Israeli settlement building, Obama's administration signed a new agreement with before he left office increasing the amount to $3.8 billion for a 10-year period beginning in 2018.

Mattis hopes to hear directly from Israeli leaders on their concerns and what they expect from the Trump administration, a US defence official said.

Iran's influence is at the top of the list for Israel, a worry shared by the United States. Trump has denounced Iran's "harmful influence" in the Middle East.

is closely watching Iran's presence in neighbouring Syria, where it is backing President Bashar al- Assad.

Israeli enemy Hezbollah is also fighting with Assad in Syria. fought a devastating war against the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite movement in 2006.

"By establishing itself permanently in Syria with the support of Hezbollah, wants to create a territorial axis linking its territory to Lebanon through Iraq and Syria, which could only endanger the security of Israel," Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said recently.

has sought to avoid being dragged into the six- year civil war in Syria, but acknowledges carrying out air strikes there to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

Last month, in the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syria conflict began, Israeli warplanes struck several targets there, drawing retaliatory missile fire.

used its Arrow interceptor to destroy what was believed to have been a Russian-made SA-5 missile, and Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria's air defence systems "without the slightest hesitation" if it happened again.

was also among the first countries to salute Trump for a recent US strike on a Syrian airbase over an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town.

Testy relations between Obama and Netanyahu reached a low point over a 2015 nuclear deal between and world powers, led by

Obama pushed hard for the agreement, but Netanyahu fiercely opposed it, arguing it will not prevent from obtaining nuclear weapons and that the lifting of sanctions would allow it to support proxy groups in the region.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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US defence chief in Israel for talks on Iran, Syria

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis visited Israel today for talks expected to focus on Iran, Syria and the two countries' close strategic relations despite recent tensions with Barack Obama's adminstration. Mattis held talks with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday morning, to be followed by meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. Israel and the United States have long had close strategic ties, with Washington providing Israel more than $3 billion per year in defence aid and President Donald Trump pledging unstinting support for the country. Despite tensions over Israeli settlement building, Obama's administration signed a new agreement with Israel before he left office increasing the amount to $3.8 billion for a 10-year period beginning in 2018. Mattis hopes to hear directly from Israeli leaders on their concerns and what they expect from the Trump administration, a US defence official said. Iran's influence is at the top of the list ... US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis visited today for talks expected to focus on Iran, Syria and the two countries' close strategic relations despite recent tensions with Barack Obama's adminstration.

Mattis held talks with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday morning, to be followed by meetings with Prime Minister and President Reuven Rivlin.

and the United States have long had close strategic ties, with providing more than $3 billion per year in defence aid and President Donald Trump pledging unstinting support for the country.

Despite tensions over Israeli settlement building, Obama's administration signed a new agreement with before he left office increasing the amount to $3.8 billion for a 10-year period beginning in 2018.

Mattis hopes to hear directly from Israeli leaders on their concerns and what they expect from the Trump administration, a US defence official said.

Iran's influence is at the top of the list for Israel, a worry shared by the United States. Trump has denounced Iran's "harmful influence" in the Middle East.

is closely watching Iran's presence in neighbouring Syria, where it is backing President Bashar al- Assad.

Israeli enemy Hezbollah is also fighting with Assad in Syria. fought a devastating war against the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite movement in 2006.

"By establishing itself permanently in Syria with the support of Hezbollah, wants to create a territorial axis linking its territory to Lebanon through Iraq and Syria, which could only endanger the security of Israel," Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said recently.

has sought to avoid being dragged into the six- year civil war in Syria, but acknowledges carrying out air strikes there to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

Last month, in the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syria conflict began, Israeli warplanes struck several targets there, drawing retaliatory missile fire.

used its Arrow interceptor to destroy what was believed to have been a Russian-made SA-5 missile, and Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria's air defence systems "without the slightest hesitation" if it happened again.

was also among the first countries to salute Trump for a recent US strike on a Syrian airbase over an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town.

Testy relations between Obama and Netanyahu reached a low point over a 2015 nuclear deal between and world powers, led by

Obama pushed hard for the agreement, but Netanyahu fiercely opposed it, arguing it will not prevent from obtaining nuclear weapons and that the lifting of sanctions would allow it to support proxy groups in the region.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
177 22

US defence chief in Israel for talks on Iran, Syria

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis visited today for talks expected to focus on Iran, Syria and the two countries' close strategic relations despite recent tensions with Barack Obama's adminstration.

Mattis held talks with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday morning, to be followed by meetings with Prime Minister and President Reuven Rivlin.

and the United States have long had close strategic ties, with providing more than $3 billion per year in defence aid and President Donald Trump pledging unstinting support for the country.

Despite tensions over Israeli settlement building, Obama's administration signed a new agreement with before he left office increasing the amount to $3.8 billion for a 10-year period beginning in 2018.

Mattis hopes to hear directly from Israeli leaders on their concerns and what they expect from the Trump administration, a US defence official said.

Iran's influence is at the top of the list for Israel, a worry shared by the United States. Trump has denounced Iran's "harmful influence" in the Middle East.

is closely watching Iran's presence in neighbouring Syria, where it is backing President Bashar al- Assad.

Israeli enemy Hezbollah is also fighting with Assad in Syria. fought a devastating war against the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite movement in 2006.

"By establishing itself permanently in Syria with the support of Hezbollah, wants to create a territorial axis linking its territory to Lebanon through Iraq and Syria, which could only endanger the security of Israel," Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said recently.

has sought to avoid being dragged into the six- year civil war in Syria, but acknowledges carrying out air strikes there to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

Last month, in the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syria conflict began, Israeli warplanes struck several targets there, drawing retaliatory missile fire.

used its Arrow interceptor to destroy what was believed to have been a Russian-made SA-5 missile, and Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria's air defence systems "without the slightest hesitation" if it happened again.

was also among the first countries to salute Trump for a recent US strike on a Syrian airbase over an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town.

Testy relations between Obama and Netanyahu reached a low point over a 2015 nuclear deal between and world powers, led by

Obama pushed hard for the agreement, but Netanyahu fiercely opposed it, arguing it will not prevent from obtaining nuclear weapons and that the lifting of sanctions would allow it to support proxy groups in the region.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
177 22