German Defense Minister to visit IDF veterans, Holocaust survivors, while visiting Israel
Ya'alon: Germany and Israel maintain wide-ranging security cooperation that "contributes greatly to the power of the state of Israel, and to the security of its cit
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen will arrive in Israel on Monday for an official state visit, as the guest of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.“Germany is a great friend of the state of Israel,” Ya’alon said on Sunday.He added that Germany and Israel maintain wide-ranging security cooperation that benefits both countries, and which “contributes greatly to the power of the state of Israel, and to the security of its citizens.”The visit will be held under the banner of 50 years of diplomatic ties between the countries, Ya’alon’s bureau said in a statement. During the visit, Leyen will hold closed door meetings with Ya’alon to discuss strategic issues in the Middle East and in other areas, before the two hold a press conference. German-Israeli security cooperation, and ways to strengthen it further, will also be discussed.The German defense minister will also visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, and meet with injured IDF veterans and Holocaust survivors. She will then host a reception for defense officials from both countries on board a German frigate that is currently docking at Haifa navy base.Israel ordered three new-generation air independent propulsion (AIP) Dolphin class submarines from Germany, in addition to the three older German-made Dolphins in the navy’s possession.The INS Tanin, arrived in Israel’s Haifa navy base in September, and received weapons and communications systems from domestic defense companies. The fifth, the INS Rahav is expected to arrive in the coming months.