US military chief in Israel to discuss bilateral ties
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford has traveled to Israel to discuss military ties and address the Tel Aviv regime’s concerns about the situation in Syria and Egypt.
Dunford arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday and was slated to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ministry of military affairs, Avigdor Liberman.
He would also meet with the Israeli military’s Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and other commanders during the short stay.
According to Israeli media, the US military chief was going to hold detailed meetings with Eisenkot and Liberman, where they would discuss Russia’s involvement in the years-long Syria conflict.
Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah’s ever-growing influence in the region as well as the recent escalation of clashes in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula were also on the agenda, the reports added.
The visit was Dunford’s third trip to Israel in his current position and the latest in a series of high profile tours of Israel by US military officials under the administration of President Donald Trump.
In April, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited Israel on his first trip as the Pentagon chief, where he reaffirmed Washington’s “absolute and unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”
General Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the US European Command, echoed the same stance when he visited the occupied Palestinian lands in March.
Trump is expected to visit Israel on May 22, after making a stop in Saudi Arabia during his first ever foreign trip as the US president.
Trump is expected to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Netanyahu during his visit. He has raised concerns in the international community by refusing to firmly support the “two-state solution.”
Last week, Trump said before a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House that fighting Daesh (ISIL) was a key part of brokering peace between Israelis and Palestinians.