(JNS.org) Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with his U.S. counterpart Secretary of Defense James Mattis Tuesday in Washington, D.C., with Lieberman urging Mattis that the U.S. needs to be more “active” in the Middle East.
Lieberman, according to a statement from his office, told Mattis that “the position of the United States, as it currently is being expressed, is crucial to eliminating obstacles that undermine stability in the Middle East and for exploiting opportunities to bolster moderate forces. We need an active America in our region.”
The Israeli minister arrived at the Pentagon Tuesday with a full honor guard, and the meeting between the two defense officials was conducted in a “warm and friendly atmosphere,” Lieberman’s office said.
The defense chiefs agreed about the need to strengthen moderate actors in the Middle East and to create a coalition to combat terrorism.
“Strategic cooperation between Israel and the U.S. is vital and critical, not just for Israel’s security but for the security and stability in the Middle East as a whole; and it impacts global security as well. The global axis of evil currently stretches from Iran to North Korea,” stated Lieberman’s office.
Additionally, Lieberman and Mattis discussed concerns over Lebanese President Michel Aoun “turning the Lebanese Army into part of the array of forces led by Hezbollah.”