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Hagel to Visit Middle East Countries

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will travel to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from April 20 to April 27, Pentagon officials said in a statement issued today.

Hagel will travel first to Israel, where he will meet with Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres to further the close military-to-military relationship between the United States and Israel, the officials said.

The secretary’s trip follows on President Barack Obama's visit to Israel, during which he announced that the United States and Israel will negotiate a new 10-year agreement to provide Israel with foreign military financing.

The secretary also will discuss regional challenges, including those presented by Iran and Syria, the officials said.

Next, Hagel will travel to Jordan to receive briefings on international efforts to address the crisis in Syria, and discuss U.S. and Jordanian cooperation to prepare for a number of contingencies.

Hagel will then travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with Saudi leaders on regional defense matters.

In Cairo, Egypt, the secretary will meet with senior Egyptian military and civilian officials to discuss the U.S.-Egypt defense partnership and Egypt's democratic transition.

Hagel will conclude his trip in the United Arab Emirates, where he will continue defense consultations with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


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