U.S. defense chief Hagel to visit Israel next week
Chuck Hagel to meet with Ya'alon to discuss Iran, Syria; Rice concludes visit in Israel.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will visit Israel next week and meet with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.
Hagel is expected to leave for the Middle East on Monday and also visit Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
During his time in Israel, Ya'alon and Hagel are expected to discuss issues of strategic importance in the area such as Iran's nuclear program and the Syrian civil war. Hagel and Ya'alon last met in February on the sidelines of the Munich security conference.
Last year, during his first official visit to Israel as secretary of defense, Hagel announced the sale of an undisclosed number of Bell Boeing V-22 transport helicopters and other U.S. military equipment including Boeing KC-135 inflight refueling planes, advanced radar systems for fighter planes and anti-radiation missiles at a reported cost of $10 billion dollars.
On Friday, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice concluded her visit to Israel after visiting the Palmahim Air Force base in central Israel. "There can be no doubt - America's commitment to Israel's security is unwavering and iron-clad," Rice said.