U.S. army chief heading to Israel for talks on Iran, Syria and Egypt

This is General Martin Dempsey’s second visit to Israel since his appointment to the post in 2011, his first having taken place in October of last year; Dempsey will also visit Jordan as part of his working trip.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff of the American armed forces, will arrive in the region on Monday for an official visit to Israel and Jordan.

The purpose of Dempsey’s visit to Israel is to discuss the mutual interests shared by the two countries and to further develop defense ties, a U.S. Defense Department official said. This is Dempsey’s second visit to Israel since his appointment to the post in 2011, his first having taken place in October of last year.

Dempsey will be received at the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv with an official honor guard. His welcome will be followed by meetings with senior Israeli defense officials, including his Israeli counterpart, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

The agenda for the discussions is expected to center on the Iranian nuclear threat, the ongoing civil war in Syria and the unstable security situation in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Dempsey’s visit to Jordan is expected to include meetings with American forces there, and is regarded an opportunity to get a first-hand look at the effects of the conflict in Syria on Jordan, a country that has taken in large numbers of refugees fleeing the fighting in their country. Dempsey last visited Jordan in April 2012.

Last week the head of the U.S. Air Force, General Mark Welsh, paid a four-day visit to Israel, meeting with Chief of Staff Gantz and the commander of the Israel Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel. Among the issues discussed at Welsh’s meetings were what an IDF statement called “joint defense challenges in light of the security situation in the region and the unprecedented enhanced cooperation between the armies.”

By Haaretz

 

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