U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Israeli
Minister of Defense Yitzhak Mordechai inaugurated a new
communications link between their respective offices today.
Defense Telephone Link was declared operational on Dec. 12, 1996,
and provides a private and dedicated means for the two defense
chiefs to discuss matters of mutual interest.
We enjoy a very close relationship with the Israeli
Minister of Defense, said Secretary Perry.
This dedicated line
provides an additional capability for Minister Mordechai and me
to promptly consult on issues of mutual concern whenever the need
arises, but particularly during times of increased tension in the
In their first conversation using the telephone, Secretary
Perry wished Minister Mordechai well and expressed his
appreciation for the warm working relationship that the two have
Secretary Perry told Minister Mordechai that in the weeks
ahead he will be discussing with his successor, Sen. William
Cohen, the unique and close relationship between the Department
of Defense and the Israeli defense establishment.
He said that
he would emphasize the importance of forward movement in the
peace process as a way of building regional security.
Minister Mordechai wished Secretary Perry well and thanked
him for his personal support of the strong U.S. commitment to
help Israel meet its defense and security needs.
Mordechai commented that he was grateful for the hospitality and
warmth shown during his visit to Washington two months ago and he
told Secretary Perry that he was planning to visit the U.S. early
in the Spring to meet with Sen. Cohen.
This telephone link between the Secretary of Defense and the
Minister of Defense was agreed upon during Minister Mordechai's
visit to the Pentagon in October.