May 17th, 2014 14:17 EST
Chuck Hagel Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Israel`s Security
American Forces Press Service
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel`s security during a joint statement to reporters with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a meeting between the two leaders in Jerusalem.
"As you said in the United States earlier this year, " Hagel said to Netanyahu, America`s support for Israel is at an all-time high, and it is. And that applies especially to our defense relationship. Our defense relationship is strong, as we both know, and I think the people of Israel and the United States know it`s strong because it`s about a lot more than defense.
The United States support for Israel is anchored in our nation`s commitment to democracy and freedom and rights for our people, " Hagel continued. America`s commitment to Israel`s security is resolute. "
The secretary noted to Netanyahu that the Juniper Cobra 14 military exercise he visited yesterday with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon demonstrates that commitment completely.
It also demonstrates the cutting-edge work our nations are doing together on rocket and missile defense, " he added, and I appreciate your comments on that point -- work that had strengthened Israel`s security and saved lives. "
In his remarks, Netanyahu said that foremost among the topics he and Hagel would discuss is the danger posed to their countries and to world peace by Iran`s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Hagel said the United States will do what it must to live up to its commitment to ensure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.
The meeting also would touch on how to advance genuine peace and how to advance solid security in a region that is fraught with instability and insecurity, the prime minister said. And I think that one of the things that creates an anchor of security is the close relationship between Israel and the United States, a relationship that is based both on value and a common determination to uphold our joint security, " he added.
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