US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will meet in late October in Washington to discuss security cooperation between the two allies, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the meeting would “underscore the strength of the US-Israeli defense relationship and further several of the initiatives discussed during Secretary Carter’s visit to Israel in July.
“The secretary is looking forward to the visit by Minister Ya’alon,” Cook added.
The US is expected to boost defense aid to the Jewish state in compensation for the Iran nuclear deal, which Israel has forcefully opposed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reportedly refused in past months to discuss a compensation defense package.
Carter visited Israel in July as part of a week-long Middle East tour that included stops in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, in what was perceived as a bid to reassure a skeptical Israel over the nuclear deal.
In another sign of a thaw in the chilly relations between the US and Israel, the White House on Wednesday confirmed that US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu will meet in Washington on November 9.
It will be the first formal meeting between the two leaders in months.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the two men will discuss the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and other regional issues, as well as efforts to counter the Islamic State’s activities in the region.
Obama pointedly refused to see Netanyahu in March when the Israeli leader appeared before a joint meeting of Congress to harshly criticize the US-negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, which regularly urges Israel’s annihilation. Republican lawmakers had arranged Netanyahu’s appearance without White House input.
AP contributed to this report.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.