US defense chief arrives in Israel

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 21, 2017
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United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis arrived on Thursday evening in Israel for a two-day visit as President Donald Trump's administration is forming a new policy on Iran.

United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis. [File photo by Zhang Weiran/]

United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis. [File photo by Zhang Weiran/]

Israeli officials said that Mattis is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, and President Reuven Rivlin on Friday.

His visit is part of a trip to the region. Earlier on Thursday, he met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo and told him that the U.S. is keen to take the bilateral defense cooperation, which he describes as strong, to a higher level.

On Tuesday, he met with senior officials in Saudi Arabia, a leading ally in the coalition against the Houthi militants in Yemen, which according to the U.S. are supported by Iran.

In a statement released by the Pentagon last week, his visit was said to focus on discussing ways to "defeat extremist terror organizations."

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