image Photo: Shmulik Almani, Courtesy of the Israeli Min. of Defense

Israel, US sign joint defense declaration

Israeli Defense Minister Gantz returned home today after a lightning visit to Washington for security talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other Pentagon officials.

One security official revealed that topics under discussion included Israel’s the procurement of U.S. warplanes, choppers, aerial defense measures and special armaments in order to preserve its qualitative military edge (QME)  in the volatile Middle East.

After signing a joint declaration confirming the U.S. strategic pledge to maintain Israel’s regional military superiority, both officials delivered remarks on the importance of the meeting.

“I want to state again how committed we are to Israel Qualitative Military Edge when it comes to defense sales and our commitment to Israel’s security, which has been long standing and is guaranteed and ironclad,” emphasized Secretary Esper .

The top American defense official also stated that, “it was important for me once again to reaffirm the special relationship between our two countries, the commitment we have made to Israel’s security based on our shared values, our shared history, the commonalities between our two peoples.”

The Israeli Defense Chief responded, “Indeed, in the last few weeks over the last few weeks, you and I led, together with other people of course, very good and very important discussions that reassure the bi-partisan commitment to Israel’s QME,” and thanked Esper, his team and Trump Administration for their support.

Gantz, who also serves as Israeli Alternate Premier, underscored the critical importance of his country’s unbreakable bond with the U.S., not only on the military but also diplomatic front. Washington brokered the Abraham Accords between Israel with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in recent months, and is now doing its utmost to convince Sudan to follow suit.

“Now that we are entering an era of good and positive normalization processes in the Middle East, which actually can face an aggressive Iran across all the region, this ability of continued cooperation is so very important,” he said.

The two defense officials also reportedly discussed a so-called ‘compensation package’ Israel would receive in wake of the deal for the U.S. to sell F-35s to the UAE, per terms of the Abraham Accords.