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Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defense Minister, Discusses Security, Iran at Pentagon
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, left, and Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz meet at the Pentagon on May 19, 2022. (Shmulik Almany/Israel Ministry of Defense)

Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defense Minister, Discusses Security, Iran at Pentagon

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz met in Washington with his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The meeting on Thursday at the Pentagon was held in the framework of an official Gantz visit to Washington.

During the meeting, Gantz thanked Austin for “the ongoing cooperation between the respective defense establishments and for the secretary’s personal commitment to the security of the State of Israel,” according to a statement from Gantz’s office. “This includes his support for the recent passing of the $4.8 billion security package. Within this context, he emphasized the importance of continuing support for Israel’s qualitative military edge,” the statement said.

Gantz and Austin discussed mutual security challenges, “first and foremost the Iranian nuclear threat and regional aggression.” As part of this discussion, Gantz “stressed a critical need for a practical coalition under U.S. leadership, together with regional partners in facing Iran,” according to the statement.

They also discussed the situation in Ukraine, and Gantz “emphasized Israel’s support for Ukraine,” including the country’s humanitarian aid and the recent provision of non-offensive military equipment. They also discussed the recent terror attacks and security tensions in Israel.

Earlier on Thursday, Gantz met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House.

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