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Hagel, Israeli Defense Minister Meet at Pentagon

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met yesterday at the Pentagon to share views on the range of regional security challenges the United States and Israel are facing together, Defense Department officials said.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel greets Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon at the Pentagon, Oct. 8, 2013. The two leaders met to discuss issues of mutual importance. DOD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, officials noted it was the third face-to-face meeting between the two defense leaders in the past six months.

Hagel told Yaalon that while U.S. officials intend to test the prospect for a diplomatic solution with Iran, they remain clear-eyed about the challenges ahead and will not waver from a firm policy of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, officials said.

The defense secretary applauded the announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria has started, the Pentagon statement said, adding that while much work remains to be done, this is a step in the right direction to eliminating that threat.

The leaders also discussed progress on the United States effort to increase Israel's qualitative military edge with advanced capabilities that Hagel announced on his visit to Israel earlier this year, the statement said.


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