Chuck Hagel meets Israeli Defence Minister, discusses Syria, Iran



Washington: US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel met his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya'alon, at the Pentagon and discussed, besides bilateral issues, the current situation in Syria and the elections in Iran.

"The leaders discussed the elections occurring today in Iran. They reaffirmed that the United States and Israel will continue to work together to counter threats posed by Iran and remain prepared for a range of contingencies," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said on Thursday.

Hagel and Ya'alon also discussed the ongoing violence in Syria and condemned the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. "Both noted the complexities of the situation and resolved to remain in close contact and continue to share information to support the defence of Israel," he said.

This was Ya'alon first official visit to Washington since taking office earlier this spring. Ya'alon flew to the Pentagon in an MV-22 from Marine Corps Base Quantico. Hagel greeted him at the Pentagon.

In April, Hagel announced that the United States would make the V-22 available to Israel as part of an unprecedented package of advance military capabilities that will increase Israel's qualitative military edge.

"At Quantico, the Minister and his delegation had the opportunity to experience some of the unique capabilities of the Osprey as Israel plans to incorporate the aircraft into future military planning," Little said.

PTI