US Defense Secretary arrives in Israel to meet with Ya’alon and Netanyahu

Following his meetings in Israel, Carter will travel to S. Arabia and Jordan

Ya'alon and Carter (Defense Ministry)

Ya’alon and Carter (Defense Ministry)

United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter arrived in Israel on Monday morning in his first tour in the region following the nuclear deal made between world powers and Iran last week.

Carter will meet with Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday, Carter stating that the meetings are to “work together to maintain our safety and security in this troubled region” and that “Israel is the bedrock of American strategy in the Middle East.”

According to the US Department of Defense, Carter’s meeting “will work with Israel to further explore ongoing efforts to identify solutions to some of their most critical security challenges — countering Iran’s destabilizing activities and preventing terror attacks.”

Ya’alon was reported having stated that, “We share common interests as well as common values and that “we will have an opportunity to discuss the developing situation in the Middle East. It is really developing, changing almost every day. So we have to adjust our strategy… in order to meet the challenges.”

According to reports from American media, Carter stated that he has no intention of persuading Israeli defense officials to desist in their opposition to the nuclear deal.

Carter will travel to Jordan and Saudi Arabia following his meetings in Israel. He will meet with Saudi officials as well as with Jordanian military officials. According to a statement released by Jordan, “Carter will thank Jordan for its leadership in the coalition, and also thank and recognize the work of the international air crew members for their efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS.”