The US is committed to preventing a second Holocaust, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said during a visit to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum on Monday.
Mullen, who arrived in Israel on Sunday, said Yad Vashem was vital to the commemoration of what he referred to as the tragic aspect of humanity.
The US military chief, who visited the museum once before some four years ago, said he specifically requested a tour of Yad Vashem's Children's Memorial, adding that it was every soldier's duty to secure a better future for the children of his or her country.
Mullen was accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.
Earlier Monday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman told Defense Minister Ehud Barak it was "always nice to come back to Israel" as a way to continue the exchange of ideas between the two countries. During the meeting, which was held at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, he said the US and Israel must continue to improve their relations in order to deal with the region's "challenges".
'Better future for our children.' Mullen (L) and Ashkenazi at Yad Vashem (Photo: AFP)
Barak, for his part, said, "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."
Prior to his meeting with Barak, the US military chief said relations between the US and Israel had always been good, and that they would forever be so.
While in Tel Aviv, Mullen also met with Ashkenazi and Military Intelligence chief Major-General Amos Yadlin. The three discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, among other pressing issues.
Upon his arrival in Israel Sunday, the US military chief told a press conference that he was concerned over the "unintended consequences" of a military strike by Israel on Iran, but vowed to thwart Tehran's nuclear program.
Reiterating that "Iran must not acquire nuclear capability," Mullen said that if a regional confrontation were to break out following a strike on Tehran, it "will be a big, big, big problem for all of us, and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences of a strike".
Asked about the red lines the US administration has set for Iran's nuclear program, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff refused to offer a detailed response, but said, "President Barack Obama was very clear that from a policy standpoint, Iran cannot have nuclear weapons."
News agencies contributed to the report