Defense Minister Gallant meets US CENTCOM chief on Iran, strengthening ties

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (2L) holds a meeting with US Central Command chief Michael Kurilla (2R), US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, IDF defense attaché to Washington Hidai Zilberman, and Tal Kelman, who holds the military's Iran file, at the defense minister's office in Tel Aviv, January 17, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (2L) holds a meeting with US Central Command chief Michael Kurilla (2R), US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, IDF defense attaché to Washington Hidai Zilberman, and Tal Kelman, who holds the military's Iran file, at the defense minister's office in Tel Aviv, January 17, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant holds a meeting with US Central Command chief Michael Kurilla, who was in town for the handover ceremony of the Israeli military chief yesterday.

The meeting between the pair, along with US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, IDF defense attaché to Washington Hidai Zilberman, and Tal Kelman, who holds the military’s Iran file, takes place at the defense minister’s office in Tel Aviv.

According to the ministry, the meeting focused on “strengthening and expanding” the Abraham Accords — the normalization agreements Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan in 2020 — “in order to improve stability in the Middle East,” as well as Israel’s move to CENTCOM from EUCOM in 2021.

“Gallant thanked General Kurilla for his commitment to Israel’s security and his actions to strengthen ties between the armies,” the ministry says in a statement.

It adds that Gallant presented Kurilla with “his perception regarding the Iranian threat as a global threat, which must be dealt with decisiveness while taking actions in the various dimensions.”

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