Sec of Defense Mattis To Visit Israel

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US Secretary of Defense James Mattis will stop in Israel this coming Friday during a week-long trip to the Middle East.

During his visit — Mattis’ first to the Jewish state since taking over at the Pentagon in January — the retired Marine general will hold meetings with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, according to a US Department of Defense statement.

While in Israel on Friday, Mattis will also take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

Other destinations on Mattis’ itinerary for his trip — his fourth abroad since becoming defense secretary — include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and Djibouti.

The purpose of the trip, according to the Department of Defense — is to “reaffirm key US military alliances, engage with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa, and discuss cooperative efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations.”

(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner Barney Breen-Portnoy

{Matzav}

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