Liberman in Washington to discuss military aid deal
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in Washington on Monday to discuss the military aid deal currently under negotiations.
After Liberman and Carter’s meeting, a senior Israeli source in Washington said that “we could reach an agreement on the aid deal soon. There are disagreements, but also a willingness to bridge those gaps.”
The source stressed that “the conversation was good and practical, and there is a willingness to reach an agreement on aid for Israel’s missile defense system, regardless of the presidential elections in the United States. The goal is to reach an agreement as fast as possible.”
Minister Liberman declined to comment about the meeting, while a senior defense source said that the Palestinian issue and international peace initiatives did not come up during the meetings.
“His meetings at the Pentagon were strictly on professional matters,” the source said.
The defense source went on to say that “The minister and his hosts see eye to eye on the threats in the region and the Iranian issue,” and stressed that “technological and intelligence cooperation is tight.”
The source said disagreements on the military aid deal mostly revolved around nuances, and said he believed an agreement will be reached soon.
The Pentagon said in a statement after the meeting that “Secretary Carter and Minister Liberman reaffirmed the strength of the US- Israeli defense relationship and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. They also discussed regional security challenges in the Middle East and areas of mutual defense cooperation.”