'Post' learns: UK chief of staff pays quiet visit

UK chief of staff pays q

By
September 24, 2009 23:51
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

For the first time in over a decade, the British chief of defense staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, visited Israel earlier this week for a short meeting with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and other senior officers, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed that Stirrup had visited Israel earlier this week, as well as the Palestinian Authority. Spokeswoman Karen Kaufman refused to reveal additional details of his trip, which was kept under wraps by Israel and the UK. Stirrup served as head of the Royal Air Force until 2006, when he was appointed chief of defense staff. While most of Stirrup's attention is on Afghanistan, where British troops are fighting, his talks with Ashkenazi focused on a wide range of regional issues, including Syria. Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was considering a short-term increase in troop numbers for Afghanistan. The additional troops, Brown said, would be used to train Afghan security forces and hopefully accelerate the British exit from the country. Stirrup was received at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv with a full military ceremony, including the IDF orchestra and members of the General Staff. Defense Ministry officials said the talks focused on the development of new military platforms, and the joint Israel-US Juniper Cobra missile defense exercise that will take place next month. The British buy a long list of Israeli military platforms, including the Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is made by Elbit Systems and is used successfully by the British Army in Afghanistan. The IDF Spokesman's office released a statement saying that "the British chief of staff concluded a three-day visit to Israel on Thursday as a guest of Ashkenazi, during which the two discussed military cooperation between the countries." Next week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak will make a two-day trip to London for high-level talks that will focus mostly on the Iranian nuclear threat. According to officials, Barak is currently working on convincing European countries to impose tougher sanctions on Iran after the dialogue between the Islamic Republic and the United States fails, as Israel predicts it will. Ashkenazi also spoke with Stirrup about the effect of the United Nations Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead earlier this year. Israel is concerned that IDF officers may be prosecuted in European countries as well as England. In 2005, former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog narrowly avoided arrest at London's Heathrow Airport in 2005. The arrest warrant had been issued by the Bow Street Magistrate's Court as per the request of a pro-Palestinian Muslim group. The warrant, one of the first of its kind issued in Britain on charges of war crimes, alleged that Almog in 2002 had ordered the demolition of 59 Palestinian homes in Rafah. Stirrup and his Israeli counterparts also spoke at length about different ways to counter the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat in Afghanistan. Israel has become a world leader in protection solutions for armor and infantry against IEDs.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN