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Israeli Army Chief Heads to US to ‘Reinforce Armies’ against Iranian Security Threats 

Israeli Army Chief Heads to US to ‘Reinforce Armies’ against Iranian Security Threats 

Sunday, 20 November, 2022 - 08:00
From right to left: Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi. (EPA)

Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi will kick off a visit to the United States on Sunday to discuss the security challenges in the region.  


This will be his second visit to the US since assuming his post and his last before leaving office on January 17.  


An Israeli army statement said he is set to meet with senior officials and officers to discuss reinforcing security in the Middle East, discuss security challenges in the region, topped by the threat posed by Iran, and strengthen cooperation between armies.   


During his five-day visit, he will meet convene with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, US Central Intelligence Agency William Burns, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and other officials. 


Kochavi will visit the United States Central Command’s headquarters in Tampa (Florida) to conduct “a joint strategic assessment of the situation” with head of the US Central Command General Michael Corella and other senior officers.  


Last week, Corella visited Israel and met Kochavi as part of efforts to develop joint military capabilities against the recent threats in the Middle East, especially Iran.  


Israel’s outgoing defense minister Benny Gantz concluded on Friday a visit to Greece. There, he said Israel would continue to act against Iran’s efforts to establish “terrorist bases” on its borders. 


Gantz accused Iran of “being involved in the war against Ukraine” while it continues to support “terrorism” in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank, and to develop its nuclear program. 


“Iran's nuclear program and the use of Iranian drones by Russian forces in Ukraine is evidence that the alleged aggression of Tehran continues to be a grave threat to the region and the world,” Gantz warned. 


“It is clear that the global threats we see today are only the seeds of the challenges that will develop and grow in the future, impacting national security, food supplies, immigration, and energy resources,” he continued.   


Gantz cited global and regional challenges that countries of the eastern Mediterranean are facing, such as the war in Ukraine and ongoing tensions with Iran.  


“The implications of the war in Ukraine are bleeding across national borders. The politics of extremism and terrorism are impacting countries around the world,” he said.  


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