The Chief of the Defense Staff of the British Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, arrived in Israel Thursday for talks with IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot.
A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said, “Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach and Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot will hold strategic discussions regarding ongoing shared threats as well opportunities for future cooperation,” and that “the visit is a symbol of the strategic bonds between our armed forces.” Their discussions are likely to include support for common allies such as Jordan and Egypt, countering the threat from ISIS and ongoing intelligence sharing and cooperation in the development of new military technology.
Israel shares a number of advanced surveillance systems with the UK and when former Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Knesset in 2014 he praised UK-Israel defense cooperation, saying that “Israel’s technology is protecting British and NATO troops in Afghanistan.”
Sir Stuart will take over as chairman of NATO’s military committee next year. Israel is a NATO partner country and a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue since it was initiated in 1994. Earlier this year Israel opened a diplomatic mission at the NATO HQ.
Sir Stuart joined the RAF in 1977. He was NATO air commander in Kosovo in 2000 and served as director-general of intelligence in the Ministry of Defense between 2003 and 2006, holding the titles of Chief of Defense Intelligence and Deputy Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee from 2006 to 2009. In 2011, Sir Stuart commanded the UK’s intervention in Libya. He held the position of Vice Chief of the Defense Staff from 2013 to 2016 before assuming the role of Chief of the Defense Staff in 2016.