The Israeli Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, will attend a United States-led international counterterrorism conference in Washington this week. The conference is being hosted by U.S. Chief of Staff Joe Dunford and attended by military chiefs from 43 countries including Australia, Jordan and Egypt, as well as countries with which Israel has no diplomatic relations such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The conference will focus on developing a global strategy to defeat terrorism with participants expected to discuss how to best share lessons from military activities and how to identify ways to contribute to essential cooperation issues. The IDF said that “during these meetings, the commanders will discuss shared security challenges, situation assessments, security related developments in the Middle East and military collaborations”.
Speaking at the beginning of the conference, Dunford said, “Meetings like this have been more regionally focused in the past, but the nature of the violent extremism threat is transregional, and its effects in one often are felt in others at the beginning of the conference.”
During his visit, Eisenkot will meet senior American defence officials as well as the heads of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The Israeli delegation is also scheduled to visit a joint exercise by the IDF and the U.S. Cyber Command on electronic warfare.
Eisenkot’s visit to the U.S. follows last week’s visit by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to Washington, where the Defense Minister held meetings with US Defense Secretary James Mattis and US National Security Adviser HR McMaster. Liberman reportedly discussed the Iranian influence in Syria and the growing threat of Iranian proxies near the Israeli-Syrian border.
In the past few weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Liberman and the director of the National Security Council have held talks with their Russian and US counterparts to raise Israeli regional security concerns.
[Photo: BICOM ]