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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting in Brussels With Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant

Pentagon Spokesperson Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:

Today in Brussels, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant to discuss opportunities to expand military cooperation to counter regional threats.  
Secretary Austin and Minister Gallant discussed important developments in the U.S.-Israeli bilateral defense partnership, U.S. security assistance for Israel, and efforts to increase partnership and interoperability. Both leaders agreed to continue working together to address the wide range of threats posed by Iran, including its nuclear program, destabilizing regional activities, and proliferation of uncrewed aerial systems and other lethal assistance throughout the Middle East and to Russia. Secretary Austin lauded Israel's continued integration into the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility, and he expressed the Department's intent to strengthen the regional security architecture and to further multilateral cooperation with regional partners.  
Secretary Austin and Minister Gallant discussed Russia's aggression in Ukraine. Secretary Austin noted that increased Iranian-Russian military cooperation is resulting in profoundly negative consequences for Ukraine, as well as the Middle East region, which are being attacked with Iranian-made uncrewed aerial systems.   
Secretary Austin expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in the West Bank and encouraged further cooperation, including via the United States Security Coordinator, to deescalate conflict and reduce tensions. The Secretary emphasized U.S. support for a two-state solution and ways to advance equal measures of freedom, justice, dignity, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians.  
Both leaders agreed to remain in close contact.