US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen met Sunday in Tel Aviv with Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. The guest from the US said that he always learns new things when in Israel, noting that he always tries to see threats and challenges from the Israeli angle.
He said that though certain matters are Israel's interests, they are important also to the US in the region.
The two commanders held a one-on-one meeting as well as a broader meeting with senior officials from the General Staff in attendance, including the Navy commander and head of the IDF Planning Directorate.
Ashkenazi praised Adm. Mullen for his many visits to Israel, and noted that the two have already met dozens of times in the past. He added that the current meeting was fruitful thanking "Adm. Mullen in particular for promoting relations and cooperation between the armed forces under his leadership."
Ashkenazi also noted that the personal relationship and organizational relationship between the two is exceptional and among the best ever between the countries. The chief of staff said, "I consider Adm. Mullen a friend and partner on every issue related to the security of the State of Israel."
Earlier, Mullen met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
The meeting between the senior-most official in the US military took place as Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren told the Foreign Ministry that "relations with the Americans have undergone a tectonic split."
It was published Sunday that Oren reported that US President Barack Obama is not motivated by emotions, past commitments, or a sense of friendship, but by cold, calculated interests. According to him, the US administration's decision making process is linear, and it is very difficult to use leverage or pressure Obama "because it's a one-man show and all decisions are made by him in a centralized fashion."