New American Secretary of Defense James Mattis offered “his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security” in a call on Thursday to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the Department of Defense stated in an official summary.
By calling his Israeli counterpart during his first week in office, Mattis meant to “emphasize his intent to advance the U.S.-Israeli defense relationship and to protect Israel’s qualitative military edge,” the statement explained.
Mattis and Liberman discussed the defense challenges in the Middle East and the shared need to develop “common approaches” to meet those challenges. They also expressed interest in meeting in the near future.
Newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump expressed similar sentiments in his call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. In his talk with Netanyahu, Trump “affirmed his unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security,” the official readout of the call stated. Among the topics discussed by the two leaders were “ways to advance and strengthen the U.S.-Israel special relationship, and security and stability in the Middle East.”
The language of the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States has been used by presidents from both parties.
[Photo: James Mattis / Flickr ]