Gantz’s visit came as Israel’s opposition reached a deal to form a coalition government that would end the 12-year rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu….reports Asian Lite News
The visiting Defence Minister of Israel Benny Gantz on Thursday said that it will stay engaged as the US tries to return to a nuclear deal with Iran. Meanwhile, the White House noted that US policy would not change given a different leadership in Israel.
Gantz’s visit came as Israel’s opposition reached a deal to form a coalition government that would end the 12-year rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Gantz discussed the US-Israel partnership and US ironclad commitment to Israel’s security, according to a readout issued by the State Department.
“The Secretary reiterated the importance of promoting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike and support for Israel’s right to defend itself,” it added.
Blinken also underscored the importance of humanitarian assistance and relief and recovery efforts in Gaza.
“As far as Gaza concerned, we do look for stability and prosperity for everybody,” Gantz told reporters before their meeting.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Gantz separately on the same day.
Before meeting the Defence Secretary, Gantz told reporters that Iran’s nuclear program and other actions were an “existential threat” to Israel, media reported.
“Stopping Iran is certainly a shared strategic need of the United States,” Israel and other countries, Gantz was quoted as saying in news reports.
Sitting across a table from his US counterpart at the Pentagon, Gantz said, “Our dialogue is so important to ensuring that any deal effectively meets its goal of keeping Iran away from nuclear weapons.”
“Of course, given the scope of the threat, Israel must always make sure that it has the ability to protect itself,” Gantz added.
Gantz also said they will continue the strategic dialogue in private discussion … only, not in the media in a provoking way,” he said, calling for “open dialogue behind closed doors.”
The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted that US policy would not change given a different leadership in Israel.
“We will leave … the politics and the determination about political formation in Israel up to the parties there,” the Press Secretary said in a daily briefing.
“Israel will remain an important strategic partner, one where we have an abiding security relationship, and that will continue.”