Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Dr. Dore Gold (R), Acting National Security Advisor Jacob Nagel and US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Haim Zach/GPO) (Haim Zach/GPO)
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Dr. Dore Gold (R), Acting National Security Advisor Jacob Nagel and US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Israeli and US delegations met in Jerusalem on Thursday to discuss a full range of security matters, including shared threats, terror organizations destabilizing the Middle East, opportunities for regional cooperation and other important issues, including Iran.

Israeli and American officials, led by Acting National Security Advisor Jacob Nagel, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Dr. Dore Gold and US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, met to discuss a wide range of important topics.

“The Strategic Dialogue is an opportunity for both the United States and Israel to discuss at a senior level a variety of issues and perspectives, and evaluate their policy implications for both our countries,” the parties said in a joint statement.

According to the statement, the US and Israel agreed that threats from terrorist organizations are among the greatest challenges facing the Middle East.

“Both countries expressed their deep concern that Da’esh [Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization] has dramatically undermined regional stability particularly in Iraq and Syria – and continues to commit gross, systemic abuses of human rights and violations of international law.”

The delegations also discussed the missile threat posed by the Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, saying they “present enormous threats.”

“Hezbollah’s willingness to use violence against Israel and to import weapons into Lebanon is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and threatens security in the region. Moreover, Hezbollah’s presence and fighting inside Syria continues to incite instability inside Lebanon,” the statement said.

Regarding Al-Qaeda and its affiliates operating mostly in Syria, the groups “continue to seek and take advantage of opportunities to conduct attacks amidst the fragile political and security climate across the region.”

Regarding Iran, both countries agreed to continue their strong cooperation “countering all threats emanating from Iran,” including the war against its global terror network. The delegations condemned “all support of terrorism in the region and worldwide.”

Both countries agreed that “the dialogue underscores the strength of the strategic partnership between the US and Israel, which is based upon shared values and common interests, and a commitment to ensuring Israel’s security.”

Both countries agreed to continue coordination on the full range of shared threats.

“We look forward to continuing the Strategic Dialogue in 2017 as an important forum to study and address the serious issues facing the United States, Israel, and the region,” the statement said.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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