Chuck Hagel and Ehud Barak in warm greeting at Pentagon


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s first visit to the Pentagon after Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Defense Secretary began Tuesday with a salute by Hagel and a hug from Barak, who was the defense secretary’s first official visitor. Their meetings are to be attended by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US chiefs of Staff, and Israeli ambassador Michael Oren. After Hagel’s nomination was endorsed amid criticism of his attitude toward Israel, Ambassador Oren issued a statement expressing confidence that the ties between the two nations “will grow stronger still as our countries meet common challenges to our security.”

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