Gantz to US to discuss coordination on Iran

IDF chief of staff to meet with US Joint Chiefs Chair Dempsey on heels of Netanyahu-Obama meeting on Iranian nuclear threat.

March 15, 2012 13:44
1 minute read.
IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz [file]

IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz 390 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)


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IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz left on Thursday for the United States and Canada for talks aimed at increasing coordination on Iran.

Gantz was originally scheduled to leave for the US earlier in the week and to speak at the Friends of the IDF gala dinner in New York. He decided to postpone the visit due to the continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

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Gantz will open his trip in Canada where he will meet with Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk and Defense Minister Peter MacKay.

Gantz will then head to Washington where he will meet next week with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey as well as with other senior Pentagon and administration officials.

It will be Gantz’s first trip to the US since his appointment as chief of staff last February.

Between 2007 and 2009, Gantz served as the attaché to the US and Canada.

Gantz’s visit comes on the heels of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s meeting in Washington last week with President Barack Obama, which focused on the Iranian nuclear threat.

Media reports have speculated that Netanyahu and Obama discussed possible US military assistance to Israel ahead of a strike the IDF might be planning against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Defense sources said that Gantz’s visit will be a continuation of the talks aimed at increasing US-Israeli military cooperation in light of the growing threats Israel faces in the region. He will also hold talks on the situation in Syria as well as on Israeli concerns regarding the future stability of the peace treaty with Egypt.

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