Jerusalem: The United States and Israel
held a "strategic dialogue" today over Iran`s nuclear
programme for the first time since US President Barack Obama
took office, officials said.
US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg met with
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to pick up the
regular consultations that were held during the preceding Bush
"The dialogue provided an opportunity for in-depth
discussion of a range of regional and international issues,
thereby further strengthening the close strategic cooperation
between the two countries," the foreign ministry said after
Another round of talks would take place in Washington
later in the year, it added.
Israeli officials had said the talks would focus
primarily on Iran`s nuclear programme, which Israel considers
its greatest strategic threat.
Meanwhile, a US official described the consultations as a
"regularly scheduled annual dialogue" covering a range of
regional and security issues not tied to specific events.
The meeting came during a visit to the United States by
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in which he was to meet
with several top US officials.