US aims to aid Israel defense systems despite cuts

Hagel is working to ensure there is no interruption of funding for Iron Dome, Arrow, David's Sling rocket, says US official.

By REUTERS,
March 5, 2013 20:04
Defense Minister Barak embraces US counterpart Hagel , March 5, 2013

Defense Minister Barak embraces US counterpart Hagel 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Defense Ministry )

 
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New US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with his Israeli counterpart on Tuesday, expressing strong support for Israeli missile and rocket defense systems despite fiscal uncertainty caused by across-the-board spending cuts.

"Secretary Hagel is committed to working with members of Congress to ensure that there is no interruption of funding for Iron Dome, Arrow, and David's Sling rocket and missile defense systems," a US defense official said.

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Hagel's nearly two-hour-long talks with Israel's Ehud Barak represented his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign counterpart since he took over the Pentagon on February 27.

The two discussed the main security issues facing the Middle East today, foremost among them, Iran.

During the talks, Barak stressed the importance of continuing to develop the special relations between the Israeli defense community and the Pentagon.

Barak wished Hagel success in his new role, adding that he was sure he would continue to serve the American people as he has done throughout his entire public life.

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