General: U.S. and Israel 'Share' Understanding

U.S. Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey said on Friday night that that Israel and the U.S. have a shared understanding of security concerns in the Middle East region.

In a statement released at the end of his first visit to Israel, where he arrived on Thursday, Dempsey said his conversations with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz helped to “advance a shared understanding of the security situation in the region.”

The statement did not include any direct references to the U.S. or Israeli position on Iran.

Dempsey emphasized that his main contacts during the visit were with his Israeli counterpart, Gantz. They discussed, “relations between the two militaries, the U.S.’s new military strategy, and also budgets and the economy.”

Dempsey also referred to the postponement of the “Austere Challenge 12” joint military exercise between Israel and the U.S, scheduled for April, and believed to have been rescheduled following the Obama administration’s desire to defuse tension with Iran. Demspey said that the delay will lead to “better training results.”

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