פגישתו של בני גנץ עם מזכיר ההגנה האמריקאי מארק אספר בפנטגון
Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Pentagon
Photo: Shmulik Almani
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Pentagon

Israel, U.S. sign joint declaration reaffirming military edge promise

Gantz and U.S. counterpart Esper sign agreement to ensure Israel's military superiority as more arms deal with Arab states take shape; defense ministry official hints at imminent peace talks with Saudi Arabia

Yoav Zitun |
Published: 10.22.20 , 23:22
Defense Minister Benny Gantz met U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon on Thursday where they signed a joint declaration confirming Washington's strategic commitment to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the Middle East.
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  • "In recent weeks, we have held important discussions that ensure the United States' commitment to maintaining Israel's military superiority," Gantz said.
    פגישתו של בני גנץ עם מזכיר ההגנה האמריקאי מארק אספר בפנטגוןפגישתו של בני גנץ עם מזכיר ההגנה האמריקאי מארק אספר בפנטגון
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Pentagon
    (Photo: Shmulik Almani)
    "We are now entering an era of normalization in the Middle East, which can help against Iranian aggression across the region. Together with the United States and allies, old and new, we will ensure fruitful cooperation. I would like to thank the American administration and in particular, my friend, Secretary of Defense Esper, who promoted the issue with me."
    Gantz's visit mainly revolved around advancing Israel's bid to purchase advanced U.S.-made aircrafts such as F-15 and F-35 fighter jets, transport helicopters, and probably also a V-22 helicopter.
    For this purpose, cabinet ministers will convene this coming Sunday to approve a part of the procurement, which is expected to be funded by U.S. aid funds. However, the Ministry of Finance is expected to oppose the motion and promote a different outline formulated by the defense establishment.
     F-35 fighter jet F-35 fighter jet
    F-35 fighter jet
    (Photo: AP)
    As part of the outline, one of the U.S. arms manufacturers supplying the weapons will take out a loan to immediately supply Israel with the new fighter jets.
    "The experience of the Treasury is unnecessary, and we are now operating according to an accepted and recognized economic concept in the world in these situations." Explained the cause. "I suggest that politics does not soil this area."
    Israel's demands intensified after reports claimed the U.S. and UAE are expected to sign an arms deal on the sale of F-35 fighter jets by December, with silent agreement from Israel.
    פגישתו של בני גנץ עם מזכיר ההגנה האמריקאי מארק אספר בפנטגוןפגישתו של בני גנץ עם מזכיר ההגנה האמריקאי מארק אספר בפנטגון
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Defense Minister Benny Gantz sign declaration of commitment at the Pentagon
    (Photo: Shmulik Almani)
    After the signing of the agreement, a senior defense official showed great satisfaction and added that Saudi Arabia may soon join the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan in peace talks with the Jewish state.
    "This commitment is permanent and with the things we hear about in the Middle East with the UAE, Bahrain and soon Sudan; Saudi Arabia will also step out of the closet soon," the officials said. "
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