Discussions between U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya’alon focused on Iran, Syria and other global threats, with Hagel unmoved by allegations of Israeli spying on America.
American Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday that he was “not aware of any facts that would substantiate” a recent Newsweek magazine report accusing Israel of major spying on the U.S.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman had called the story a “malicious calumny.”
“As former head of intelligence, I wasn’t allowed to spy in the United States whatsoever, and as defense minister, I don’t allow to spy in the United States whatsoever,” added Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who shared the joint conference.
“Even if there are disagreements along the way, they cannot overshadow the ironclad bond we share,” added Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who shared the joint conference.
“It is Israel’s core interest to see a strong America continuing to play a leading role in our region and beyond.”
Ya’alon Stresses Iranian Nuclear Threat
Hagel is on a three-day visit to Israel. Topics on the agenda include the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Iranian nuclear weapons and the situation in Syria.
“I believe that it should be in the first priority of each of us to deal with this threat by all means, in all fields,” Ya’alon stated with regard to Iran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also stressed the Iranian threat in Tokyo this week.
Hagel meets Bibi and Confirms Commitment on Iran
In his initial meeting with Defense Secretary Hagel on Friday morning, Netanyahu said that the most important issue to discuss is “the danger posed to both our countries and to the peace of the world by Iran’s pursuit of developing nuclear weapons.”
Hagel, addressing the Prime Minister as “Bibi”, agreed with Netanyahu that “American support for Israel is at an all-time high… and that applies especially to our defense relationship. ”
Regarding the Iranian threat, Hagel said that he wanted to “assure the people of Israel, of the United States’ continued commitment to ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.”
Written by: United with Israel Staff