Allies must confer closely: US general to Israel

Israel believes Iran is close to developing the technology to building an atomic weapon.

Jerusalem: The United States` top general, on a flying visit to Israel to meet top officials, on Friday urged more cooperation between the allies, who share a concern over Iran`s nuclear program.

"We have many interests in common in the region in this very dynamic time and the more we can continue to engage each other, the better off we`ll all be," General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted as saying by the Israeli Defence Ministry.

In a visit set to last a few hours, Dempsey was meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Israel`s military chief, Lieutenant-General Benny Ganz, and President Shimon Peres.

The United States, which is leading Western pressure on Tehran to curb controversial uranium enrichment, has voiced concern that Israel could attack their foe pre-emptively and deepen instability in an already volatile region.

Dempsey said last November he did not know whether Israel would alert the United States beforehand if it decided to take military action against Iran.

Bureau Report

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