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Outgoing Defense Minister Gantz speaks to US counterpart Austin: A true friend

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

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, right, meets with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon on May 19, 2022. (Shmulik Almany/GPO)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, right, meets with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon on May 19, 2022. (Shmulik Almany/GPO)

Outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz holds a phone call with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, his office says.

Gantz thanks Austin for “strengthening the cooperation” between the nations and the attention he gave during meetings between the pair over the past two years, according to a statement.

Noting the recent Iranian drone strike on an Israeli-owned oil tanker near Oman, Gantz says “Iran’s recent actions prove once again that it is first and foremost a strategic threat to the world and the region, and that strengthening cooperation against [Iran] is required now more than ever.”

“Defense Minister Gantz told Austin that he considers him a personal friend, a true friend of Israel, and wanted to thank him for his and the administration’s commitment to Israel’s security, based on shared values ​​and interests,” his office adds.

Following Israel’s general election earlier this month, Gantz is heading to the opposition after Benajmin Netanyahu’s Likud-led bloc won a clear majority.

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