Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren addressed a recent decision by Israel and the US to postpone a missile defense drill originally scheduled for April, saying that it "stemmed solely from technical issues," early Wednesday morning.
postponements are routine and do not reflect political or strategic
concerns," he said. "The United States and Israel remain committed to
holding the exercise - code-named Austere Challenge 12 - the largest and
most robust in their historic alliance."
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According to Oren, the drill will be held in the latter half of the year.
Oren's comments came amid speculation over which country had initiated postponing the exercise and why.
Sunday, senior military officials announced the drill would be
canceled. Officials refused to elaborate on the reasons behind talks to
postpone or cancel the drill, but said they were mostly "technical and
Talks about postponing the drill took the Americans, as well as the
Israeli Air Defense division, responsible for missile defense, by
surprise. Just last Thursday, top IAF officers had said that the drill
was scheduled for this spring.
The planned drill had caused tension in the region amid concern that
Israel is planning an attack against Iran's nuclear facilities in the
near future, and therefore is bolstering its defenses together with the