Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary Esper Phone Call With Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Gantz

June 11, 2020

Department of Defense Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan R. Hoffman provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper conducted a phone call with Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Gantz today to congratulate Gantz on his leadership role in the newly formed Israeli government.  

The two discussed both governments' efforts to address the novel coronavirus and the need to deter adversaries that may seek to exploit global attention to the pandemic.  They reviewed shared interests on regional security concerns, with an emphasis on the necessity to halt the Iranian threat, as well as opportunities to build a more stable and prosperous Middle East.

Minister Gantz highlighted the strategic and steadfast defense relationship between the two nations, pledged to strengthen the U.S.-Israel defense partnership and lauded the countries’ ironclad military-to-military cooperation, which he has supported through his previous service as Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and Defense Attache to the United States.  Minister Gantz expressed appreciation for the U.S. commitment to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) and intent to consolidate Israel’s defense modernization and procurement plans over the coming weeks. 

Secretary Esper and Minister Gantz committed to meeting in person at the earliest opportunity.