Barak: Israel happy to weclome Mullen

"We value his contribution to security and stability of the region."

mike mullen 311 (photo credit: AP)
mike mullen 311
(photo credit: AP)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday greeted the visiting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and expressed Israel's gratitude for the US' contribution to Middle Eastern and Israeli security.
"We are happy to welcome chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mullen to Israel for a brief work visit," said Barak.
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Barak continued, "We very much value his contribution to the security and stability of the region and his contribution to the close working relationship between the IDF and the defense establishment and US armed forces and the Pentagon. We are pleased to see him here as one who contributes much to the security of the entire region and to the security of the State of Israel."
Sunday’s trip is Mullen’s fourth visit to Israel. Before his first visit in 2007, a chairman of the joint chiefs had not visited Israel in a decade.
On Saturday, Philip Gordon, the Obama administration’s top diplomat on European affairs, said that Turkey was alienating US supporters and needed to demonstrate its commitment to partnership with the West.
In related news, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu returned last week from London, where he lectured on Israel’s security situation.
Benayahu had considered canceling the trip due to the possibility that as the IDF’s spokesman he could be arrested and tried for war crimes.
“This was particularly a concern following the flotilla incident three weeks ago,” an IDF source said.
Yaakov Katz contributed to this report