The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley arrived in Israel on Friday to meet with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, as well as other senior Israel officials.

Milley landed at the Israel Air Force base of Nevatim in southern Israel early Friday, where he met with Kochavi, as well as Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad head Yossi Cohen. Milley also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over video conference, where he discussed the threats posed by Iran and other regional security concerns.

“The IDF and the U.S. Armed Forces share a mutual interest to prevent Iran and its proxies from jeopardizing the stability of the region,” Kochavi said, adding that the IDF “preparing for a variety of scenarios and will act to the extent necessary to remove any threat that endangers the sovereignty of Israel or its citizens.”

Milley also participated in a panel led by Kochavi, which included the U.S. defense attaché in Israel, the IDF’s attaché to the United States and the head of the IDF’s International Cooperation Unit.

The visit was the second for Milley, who last came during November 2019, just a month after he assumed his position.

“We are in a period of many challenges, and alongside them are opportunities to strengthen relations and alliances against extremists in the region,” said Gantz. “The visit during a global pandemic is testament to the close cooperation and the excellent relations between the defense establishment, the IDF and the U.S. Army, which is a cornerstone of Israeli security.”

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