Newly appointment Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke with US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel on Wednesday by phone, and the two men congratulated one another on their appointments.

During their conversation, Hagel told Ya'alon he planned on visiting Israel next month on his first official arrival as secretary of defense.

Hagel said the security and strategic relations between the US and Israel were very important, adding that he looked forward to further cooperation.

He added that Israel and the US have shared interests in light of Middle Eastern developments.

Ya'alon told his American counterpart, "We have many common challenges in light of Middle East instability. I recognize and cherish the defense relations between the US and Israel, and have done so since my time as head of the Intelligence Branch in the 1990s."

Ya'alon added that the relations were based on shared values. "I certainly look forward to strengthening these relations in light of the challenges ahead of us, and to strengthening our personal relationship," he added

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