Ashkenazi with Mullen in Tel Aviv
Photo: Yaron Brener
Births at Israeli field hospital in Haiti
Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit

Barak: Friends overcome differences

Defense minister meets US military chief, says states working together to strengthen Israel's security

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with the US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, at his office at the IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv.


"We are working together to strengthen Israel's security. Between friends there are sometimes differences, but we know how to overcome them and keep working together to strengthen regional stability," Barak said before the meeting.


Mullen told Barak it was "always nice to come back to Israel" as a way to continue the exchange of ideas between the two countries. He said the US and Israel had to keep improving their relations in order to deal with the region's "challenges".


Barak welcomed Mullen as a friend, and said he was "representing Israel's important points". He wished him a successful tour of the region.


Mullen met earlier with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Military Intelligence chief Major-General Amos Yadlin. Before meeting Barak he said the relations between the US and Israel had always been good, and that they would forever be so.


The admiral also met members of the Israeli delegation to Haiti during a ceremony held at the Tel Aviv headquarters. He said they "symbolized hope" and the possibility of saving lives whenever possible.


Mullen added that when he met Ashkenazi at the end of January, the latter expressed extreme pride in his soldiers. "He couldn't find the words to describe what he felt," the admiral said.


He also stressed that the Israeli mission to Haiti was extraordinary, and that the quake-stricken country would not soon forget everything that had been done for them.


Ashkenazi said that the delegation showed Israel and the IDF's true faces. "I am proud to be your commander," he told the delegation members.


GOC Homefront Command Major General Yair Golan said the mission had accomplished all of its goals: Saving lives, distributing medical treatment, and representing the IDF and the State of Israel.


A short film displaying members of the delegation caring for earthquake survivors was shown, and Captain Zofia Moscowitz of the IDF Medical Corps told of the births that had taken place in the Israel field hospital.


"The story I take with me is that of the birth of Daniel, whom we called 'the little prince'. It was very exciting for us to be there at such moments and we understood the greatness of the mission and the opportunity we had before us," she told the officials.


פרסום ראשון: 02.15.10, 13:33
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