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US military chief concludes Israel visit


WASHINGTON (PTI): US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has concluded his first trip to Israel during which he discussed military-to-military relationship between the two countries and the situation in the region, especially Iran.

"They discussed military-to-military relations, the new US defense strategy, budget and economic issues and regional security challenges," Col Dave Lapan, spokesman of US military's top general Dempsey, said referring to the latter's meetings with his Israeli counterpart Lt Gen Benny Gantz, Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces.

"Gen Dempsey and Lt Gen Gantz discussed postponing our bilateral exercise, Austere Challenge 12, and agreed to hold it later in the year to achieve a better training outcome," he said, adding that the Pentagon leader also met with Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Each reinforced the deep and special relationship shared by Israel and the US. These discussions also served to advance a common understanding of the regional security environment," Lapan said.

During his visit to Jerusalem, Gen Dempsey also toured Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum, and placed a wreath in honour of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust.

In brief remarks following the tour he noted the significance of the date, 70 years to the day of the infamous "Wannsee Conference."

He wrote in the visitors' book, "We are committed to ensuring that such a human tragedy never happens again."

In a news dispatch from Tel Aviv, The Wall Street Journal reported that Dempsey said his meetings with Gantz, and Israel's top military brass were "very good," without giving further details.

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US  Israel  Military  

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