DoD Secretary Hagel and Israeli Minister of Defense Ya'alon discuss mutual interests

Department of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon met on Tuesday to discuss the mutual challenges the United States and Israel face.

This was the third time the leaders met face-to-face within the last six months. Both leaders thanked one another for the opportunity to regularly discuss their views and the mutual challenges their respective nations face.

Hagel and Ya'alon discussed the upcoming talks on disarmament in Geneva with Syria, which is set to occur in mid-October. Hagel said the U.S. hopes to reach a diplomatic agreement with Iran, but has no misconceptions on the challenges of the negotiations. Hagel said the U.S. is firm in the policies of the sanctions placed against Iran and its objective to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Hagel and Ya'alon discussed the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, which the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced has already begun. The leaders celebrated this victory, but recognized more work must be done to eliminate the international threat the nation poses.

Hagel told Ya'alon the U.S. is committed to helping Israel increase its qualitative militia with advanced military capabilities. The leaders thanked one another for their time and promised to keep in close communication.