Senior American and Israeli officials met in Israel Thursday as part of the semi-annual U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue.
The US delegation to the high-level diplomatic consultations was led by Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, and the Israeli by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
“Special attention was paid to the ongoing changes in the region, which present both challenges and opportunities for progress,” a joint readout from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Department said Thursday.
A chief focus of the consultations was “Iran’s continued quest to develop nuclear weapons, which the United States and Israel are both determined to prevent,” the readout continued. The two delegations also discussed the humanitarian crisis resulting from Syria violence, and its potentially destabilizing implications for the region, particularly Israel’s neighbor Jordan.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to arrive in Israel on Monday for two days of meetings (July 16-17), her first visit in over two years. She will also travel to Egypt.
Full readout on the Strategic Dialogue below:
Today, Israel and the United States convened their semi-annual Strategic Dialogue at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. The Strategic Dialogue, the highest level regularly scheduled diplomatic meetings between the two countries, highlights the strong alliance and deep ties that bind Israel and the United States.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns headed the respective delegations.
The two sides engaged in a productive, wide ranging discussion of issues of mutual concern. Special attention was paid to the ongoing changes in the region, which present both challenges and opportunities for progress.
Iran’s continued quest to develop nuclear weapons, which the United States and Israel are both determined to prevent, the destabilizing role which it plays in the region and its promotion of international terrorism were addressed by the parties.
The two sides agreed that the ongoing bloodshed inflicted on the Syrian population by the Asad regime, assisted by Iran and Hezbollah, is a source of major humanitarian concern and the continued violence of the Syrian regime against its citizens could also lead to severe consequences for the entire region.