Dempsey: Drill proof of US commitment to Israel

Peres says thanks joint US defense chief for profound military cooperation, which he says indicates strong friendship.

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey_311 (photo credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey_311
(photo credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
The current joint US-Israeli military exercise is proof of the United States’ commitment to remain strong and together with Israel, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey said Monday during a meeting with President Shimon Peres at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
Dempsey emphasized that the military exercise being conducted by the soldiers, pilots and sailors of both countries is the largest one ever, and an opportunity for soldiers, pilots and sailors from both countries to work as a collaborative force against rockets and missiles.
For his part, Peres thanked Dempsey for what he termed as the profound cooperation between US and Israeli forces, indicating the friendship between the two countries is “at its height and at its best.”
“This cooperation is meaningful, politically and militarily.” he said.
Peres and Dempsey also discussed Iran, and the president said while the sanctions so far imposed on Iran are beginning to show some results, and while he preferred diplomatic and economic measures, all options remain on the table.
Dempsey arrived in Israel on Sunday to oversee the air defense drill.
He met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv last night.
The two military leaders are expected to tour areas where the defense drill is being held. The majority of the exercise, named Austere Challenge 12, involves the computer simulation and interception of long and medium-range missile attacks on Israel.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.