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Blinken discusses Iran, US relations with Israel’s defense minister

Published: Updated:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Gantz in Jerusalem and discussed Iran, as well as Israel’s relations with the US, the Department of State said on Tuesday.

The Secretary of State had promised continued close consultation with Israel about any potential US return to a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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After talks with Blinken in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped Washington would not sign back on to the deal, and that “whatever happens, Israel will always retain the right to defend itself” against any Iranian nuclear threat.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Blinken hold a joint news conference in Jerusalem. (Reuters)
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Blinken hold a joint news conference in Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Blinken and Gantz expressed their support for the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that ended the 11-day fighting in Gaza and the West Bank, according to the state department’s statement.

They also expressed gratitude to Egypt and other partners that helped bring the truce about, the statement added.

The officials discussed their views on Iran, and the Secretary underscored the US’ strong commitment to Israel’s security as well as to the broader US-Israel partnership, according to the statement.

Blinken also emphasized the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy, the statement added.

Blinken is also due to visit Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Cairo and Amman.

(With Reuters)

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