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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 247-13
April 17, 2013

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Travel to the Middle East

            Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will travel to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates April 20-27. 

            Hagel will first travel to Israel where he will meet with Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres to further the close military to military relationship between the United States and Israel.  Hagel’s trip follows on President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel where he announced that the United States and Israel will negotiate a new 10-year agreement to provide Israel with foreign military financing.  The secretary will also discuss regional challenges including those presented by Iran and Syria. 

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

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

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