US to augment defense ties with Israel, Ashton Carter says
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that Washington is interested in tightening its defense ties with Israel in light of the security challenges in the Middle East, adding that "the defense relationship with Israel is stronger than ever." During an appearance with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Washington, he also said "Israel is a cornerstone of our strategy in the Middle East, and its security is a top priority for America, for our military, and President Obama and me personally."
Carter and Yaalon are due to visit the Naval Air Station in Maryland on Wednesday for a demonstration of the F-35 joint strike fighter. The United States has said it will deliver the F-35 to Israel next year, making it the only country in the Middle East to have the top-flight aircraft.