Gantz Meets Kushner in Washington Discusses Israel's Military Edge, Additional Peace Deals

Israeli Defense Minister thanks senior Trump advisor for the administration's efforts in solidifying peace deals with Arab nations, and maintaining Israeli military superiority in the region

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks in Tel Aviv, September 7, 2020.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks in Tel Aviv, September 7, 2020.Credit: Tomer Applebaum

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with senior advisor and son-in-law to U.S. President Donald Trump Jared Kushner in Washington on Tuesday to discuss maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge and peace in the region.

During the meeting Gantz thanked Kushner for his extraordinary effort and that of the administration to foster peace and stability in the Middle East, which brought about the Abraham Accords.

"We cherish the American efforts to bring peace and the obligation to maintaining Israel’s military superiority,” Gantz said.

The two discussed ways to advance additional agreements with Arab nations that would promise stability while preserving Israel’s security as a cornerstone of the process, a Defense Ministry statement said.

Gantz emphasized that historic agreements like these underscore the importance and depth of the Israel-U.S. relationship.

Gantz is also expected to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other Pentagon officials in Washington on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

Gantz is also set to discuss international policy vis-à-vis Iran and strategy for stopping its expansion and entrenchment in the Middle East.

Gantz flew to Washington on Monday night and will return home on Thursday. He took a commercial flight and was joined by a few senior staffers, including his chief of staff, the military secretary, and the director of the Defense Ministry's bureau of political-military affairs.

Gantz and those accompanying him will be tested for the coronavirus and instructed to enter quarantine upon their return. Because of the pandemic, Gantz will only be in contact with a limited number of delegates and U.S. officials.

Gantz was not required to undergo the usual security check, and he was permitted to drive directly to the plane and boarded and disembarked separately from the other passengers. He will only be in contact with others, the Defense Ministry said, during meals, in the hotel and at meetings.

Netanyahu visited Washington last week to take part in the signing of agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The signing ceremony was overseen by U.S. President Donald Trump, while Netanyahu was joined by the UAE's Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayan.

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