Israeli Defense Minister Leaves for ‘Critical’ Meeting With U.S. Defense Chief

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Defense Minister Ya'alon, earlier this year. Shortened his trip to Washington due to the security situation in Israel.Credit: Sivan Parag

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is flying Monday night to Washington to meet with Ashton Carter, his American counterpart, to discuss bilateral relations and defense aid for Israel.

Defense officials call this meeting “critical” because it is expected to deal with the assistance Israel will receive in the wake of the recent Iran nuclear deal with the major world powers.

Israel initially rejected discussions on such a “compensation package” following the agreement, but local defense officials have begun to consider the matter in recent weeks.

As reported in Haaretz, the United States intends to raise its military aid to Israel by $1 billion annually. The meeting between Ya’alon and Carter – as well as that between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama next month – is expected to deal with this subject.

Ya’alon has shortened his trip due to the current security situation in Israel. The Pentagon announced he would meet with Carter on Tuesday and Wednesday. The two are due to address students at the National Defense University in Washington on Tuesday; the following day they are expected to inspect Israeli technological developments related to the F-35 fighter jet at a U.S. army base and to hold a joint press conference.