Defense Minister Ya’alon to travel to US for talks with Hagel

Defense chiefs to discuss Iran, Syria, situation in Lebanon, as they have done regularly over past year.

October 7, 2013 01:09
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon at Ben Gurion University conference, October 1, 2013

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon 370. (photo credit: Ariel Harmoni, Ministry of Defense)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will take off for the US on Sunday evening, where he is due to meet with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

The defense chiefs will discuss Iran, Syria and the situation in Lebanon, as they have done regularly over the past year, among other issues.

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Ya’alon will also meet with UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon, Sen. Robert Menandez, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and the heads of Jewish communities.

Later, he will visit a Lockheed Martin production center in Texas and inspect the F-35 fifth-generation multirole fighter jet, which is due to come into service for the Israel Air Force in 2015.

Defense officials view the F- 35 as a guarantee of Israel’s regional qualitative edge, and have remained committed to the project despite the technical difficulties that have plagued the aircraft’s development in recent years.

The air force will form a squadron of F-35s at the Nevatim Airbase southeast of Beersheba, which currently houses F-16 squadrons and C-130 Hercules transport planes.

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