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Photo by: DAVID AZAGURY, US EMBASSY TEL AVIV
Dempsey in Jerusalem: This is the time for clarity and honesty
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
31/03/2014
Gantz: Military relations with US are steadier than ever.
 
The current period is one for clarity and honesty, not slogans, said the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, during a joint press conference with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz in Jerusalem on Monday.

Dempsey said he could always count on his Israeli partners for honesty, adding that he valued this quality. He said his focus was on military to military relations, when asked by reporters about recent criticism directed at Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon over comments he made about the Obama administration’s role in international relations.

Gantz described military relations between the IDF and the US Armed Forces as “steadier than ever.”

He dodged questions on military strike options on Iran, but added that “it’s clear these capabilities exist.”

Earlier on Monday, Gantz and the IDF General Staff visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center in Jerusalem, where he paid tribute to those who fought the Nazis and attempted to save Jews from mass slaughter.

“The IDF will always strive to be an example and role model to those around it, and combine a dedication to its mission with the safeguarding of human dignity and morality in combat,” Gantz added.

On Sunday, Ya’alon met Dempsey in Jerusalem, where they discussed the security situation in the Middle East and cooperation between the US and Israel.

Ya’alon thanked Dempsey for being a “true friend of the State of Israel and the IDF.”

The defense minister had in recent weeks come under fire from the Obama administration for criticizing what he described as its feeble image in the world.

“We very much appreciate the relations between the US and Israel,” he said on Sunday.

“For us, the US is a strategic ally and our greatest friend.

Relations with the US are a cornerstone in the national security of Israel,” the defense minister added.
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