US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (L) and Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak address a press conference at the Pentagon on November 29, 2012.
The United States has once again vowed “strong commitment” to the Israeli regime’s security in the region, the Pentagon says.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “reiterated the strong US commitment to Israel’s security” during a meeting with Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak at the Pentagon on Wednesday, according to George Little, US Defense Department spokesman.
The two sides further “discussed a range of issues, and expressed their commitment to ensuring continued cooperation on many important regional issues,” underscoring their strategic bilateral ties, Little stated.
The meeting was the 11th for Barak and Panetta, who will shortly leave his office. US President Barack Obama has nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel to succeed Panetta.
Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska and a Vietnam War veteran, is criticized by pro-Israeli figures, mainly for his stance on the policies of the Tel Aviv regime in the Middle East.
According to an article published by the Washington Post
on January 7, Hagel has come under fire by pro-Israeli advocates for once saying that he was “a senator from Nebraska, not a senator from Israel,” calling for a “more evenhanded” US policy toward Tel Aviv.